Complexity of societal problems and responsibility for the common good call for evidence-based political decision making. In the course of this, researchers play a vital role in preparing data and information as well as in evaluating political programmes. Scientific evidence is viewed as necessary for assuring the quality of political decisions and measures.
In the past years, independent research institutes tasked with quality assurance have gained in importance. An example is the Institute for Research Information und Quality Assurance (iFQ) itself that was founded ten years ago in order to critically observe the science and research system and to give scientific advice.
The 10th anniversary of the Institute is taken as occasion to review how and why researchers pass judgement on political decision making and societal developments. The title question "Critique as a professional service?" picks up on the topic how scientific critique is organized while facing political demands.