Jörg Naumann grew up in the eastern (communist) part of Germany. After obtaining his Abitur he studied engineering at Dresden University. He then worked for 3 years in a research department for chemical engineering enterprise.
After quitting that position he started taking part in organising resistance against the regime in the communist state. In 1989, he was actively involved with helping to bringing about the breakdown of the communist system. His subsequent engagement for the new political parties was followed by an eight-year-long period of work for an international environmental organization.
Since 1998, he has been working for the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum as head of the science and education department. The Museum organized the 1st nationwide citizens conference on Genetic testing in 2001, and has taken part in the project "Meeting of Minds. European Citizens' Deliberation on Brain Science" that was launched in 2004. A partner consortium of technology assessment bodies, science museums, academic institutions and public foundations from nine European countries launched this two-year initiative with the support of the European Commission to give European citizens a unique opportunity to learn more about the impact of brain research on their daily lives and society as a whole, to discuss their questions and ideas with leading European researchers, experts and policy-makers, and put them in touch with fellow citizens from other European countries.
At the beginning of 2006, the participants in this project finalised their contributions by writing a report detailing, what the people of Europe believe to be possible, and what they believe to be desirable, in the area of brain science. One goal of this initiative is to issue recommendations to policy-makers and researchers drawing their attention to areas where care should be applied in the future development of research on the brain.