Members during the second term of office (1.7.1996–31.10.2000)

In its first two terms of office, the Council comprised of twelve members, representing the natural and the social sciences in equal measure. The members are appointed for a four-year-term by the responsible ministries (Ministry for Education and Research, BMBF, and the Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety, BMU) on the basis of a cabinet decision. Members may be reappointed.
     The Council's second term of office lasted from 1. June 1996 to 31. October 2000 (the first term was from 1 June 1992 to 30 June 1996). Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber was elected Chair of the second term Prof. Dr. Dr. Kokott was elected Vice Chair.

Members during the second term of office (1.7.1997 bis 31.10.2000)

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (Chair)
Physicist: Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Dr. Juliane Kokott (Vice Chair)
Lawyer: Professor of International Law, International Economic Law and European Law in St. Gallen, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Friedrich O. Beese
Agronomist: Director of the Institute for Soil Science and Forest Nutrition at the University of Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Klaus Fraedrich
Meteorologist: Professor of Meteorology at the University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Paul Klemmer
Economist: President of the Rhine-Westphalian Institute for Economic Research in Essen

Prof. Dr. Lenelis Kruse-Graumann
Psychologist: Professor of Psychology (specialist in environmental psychology) at the University of Hagen

Prof. Dr. Christine Neumann
Physician: Head of the Department of Dermatology and Venerology, University of Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn
Sociologist: Akademie für Technikfolgenabschätzung in Baden-Württemberg and Professor of Sociology at the University of Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Ernst-Detlef Schulze
Botanist: Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry in Jena

Prof. Dr. Max Tilzer
Limnologe: Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Konstanz

Prof. Dr. Paul Velsinger
Economist: Professor of Political Economy at the University of Dortmund, specializing in regional economy

Prof. Dr. Horst Zimmermann
Economist: Professor of Political Economy at the University of Marburg, specializing in public finance