Strikingly original ideas sparking new research projects often arise seemingly out of nowhere during casual, intentionless conversations crossing boundaries between disciplines. Such occasions are rare during a university’s daily routine, but in this vein, the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanites, as a meeting place for scholars with vastly different scientific backgrounds, provides an inviting and stimulating setting for the identification of novel scientific objectives. Such ideas sometimes lead to the establishment of a working group, with which a given scientific problem is pursued as a medium-length or long-term project. Work in the formal scientific working groups of the Academy is characterized by regular lectures, symposia and conferences as well as the publication of proceedings in printed form. The Academy supports the scientific working groups financially, albeit at a much smaller scale than the research projects under the Union of the German Academies programme. Another difference is that all members of scientific working groups work without remuneration. The current scientific working grous of the Academy are described in the brochure "Wissen, Wachsen, Wirken (‘Knowing, Growing, Shaping’) , which can be requested at the Headquarters of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.