The Scientific Council is made up of the Scientific Members and the Directors of the institutes and research facilities. It also includes the scientific staff members from the institutes elected to the Sections. The Emeritus Scientific Members and the External Scientific Members from the institutes can participate in the meetings of the Scientific Council as guests in an advisory capacity. As a rule, the Scientific Council meets once a year, twice if necessary.
The Scientific Council is divided into three sections – the Biology and Medicine Section, the Chemistry, Physics & Technology Section, and the Human Sciences Section. The Scientific Council discusses matters of common interest to the Sections, particularly those significant for the development of the Max Planck Society. The Scientific Council can apply to the Senate in these matters and make recommendations to the Sections.