Art & Science Endowment Trust Charter (ASET Charter)


ASET Stiftung1, is an independent, wholly non-profit entity, supporting academic, scientific research programs with an objective of advancing the boundaries of knowledge in comparative studies across major fields of research in Humanities and Linguistics, including Archaeology, Conservation Science, History of Science, History of Art, Heritage Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Political Economy and Commercial and Trade History and Philology.


ASET Stiftung’s primary objective is to develop and support advanced scholarly research programmes, promoting the knowledge, appreciation, and greater understanding of the arts and material cultures of the civilizations and peoples who spoke2 any branch of the Indo-European and Semitic family language groups.3 This includes the corresponding civilisations, cultures, and people who have come into contact with them through commerce.


The focus of the activities of ASET Stiftung is based upon one primary mission: advancing scholarship and academic research within a Higher Education framework with an interdisciplinary approach to the major fields of comparative research, contributing to a greater understanding of the trans-cultural diffusion of human knowledge, ‘science’4, and linguistics, especially among the civilizations that spoke any branch of the Indo-European or Semitic family language groups, including the civilisations and cultures that came into contact with them through trade and commerce or by any other means of contact, facilitating the diffusion of ‘science’ and linguistics.


ASET Stiftung, its Directors and Research Fellows will facilitate, encourage, and provide the means for initiating, developing, and supporting research projects and programmes, not only across major fields of research in Humanities and Linguistics, as described in paragraph 1. above, but also in other relevant disciplines and fields of studies that will contribute via educational and academic means, not only to the primary objective of this Charter, but also to the provisions generally described in §52 of the AO for non-profit communal purposes (gemeinnützige Zwecke) of the Federal Republic of Germany.5

ASET Legal Counsel

Donald Black, J.D.
Counsel, U.S. and English Law

1 Limited by guarantee, ASET Stiftung,registered under no. 9857318, under section 1115 of the Companies Act 2006 England and Wales, is an independent, wholly non-profit entity, supporting academic, scientific research programs.

2 Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) is widely considered as one of the founding fathers of twentieth-century linguistics. His works have laid the foundation for many significant developments in modern and current linguistic scholarships. Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Oxford and Honorary Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Roy Harris summarizes Saussure’s contribution to linguistics and his views on the importance of linguistics to the evolution and development of human civilizations, and the resultant by-products and impacts on the arts and material cultures, as follows: “Language is no longer regarded as peripheral to our grasp of the world we live in, but as central to it. Words are not mere vocal labels or communicational adjuncts superimposed upon an already given order of things. They are collective products of social interaction, essential instruments through which human beings constitute and articulate their world. This typically twentieth-century view of language has profoundly influenced developments throughout the whole range of human sciences. It is particularly marked in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology and anthropology.”

3 According to Ethnologue Statistical Summaries, the Indo-European or Indo-Germanic languages are spoken today by almost three billion native speakers, the largest number by far for any recognized language family.

4 The term ‘science’ here refers to all fields of human knowledge and learning, including the natural and physical sciences and philosophy.

5 Abgabenordnung (AO) in the version of 1.10.2002 (BGBl. 2002 I S. 3866; 2003 I S. 61), last amendments of 18.12.2013 (BGBl. 2013 I S. 4318) with the title of charitable purposes: §52 Gemeinnützige Zwecke.