»Complexity in Science, Culture and Society«
The Aventis Foundation funds an interdisciplinary project at Goethe University Frankfurt
After a successful pilot phase, the research project »Complexity in Science, Culture and Society«, which began in early 2017, has received a funding renewal from the Aventis Foundation for a further two years. The project is unique in that it involves the collaboration of various academic cultures, having been developed in equal measure by scholars and scientists from the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences. The instigation for the project and the original concept came from Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, professor of philosophy, and Harald Schwalbe, professor of biochemistry. The Aventis Fellowships are an important component of the project and allow visiting scholars and scientists to be invited to the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften (FKH) of Goethe University Frankfurt, where the project is administered.
Increasing complexity in research and society is accelerated by new phenomena such as big data, digitalization, human migration, and the growth of technology and automation. As a result, science and academia must develop strategies to successfully deal with complexity and to solve complex problems. One of the many aspects of this research project involves responding to these expectations.
The overarching goal of the project is to examine various concepts of complexity and their theoretical foundations from interdisciplinary perspectives in order to identify new models for dealing with complexity and to obtain new insights for academic research. One starting point is the perspective of the philosophy of science, which defines complexity as a characteristic of systems that demonstrate unexpected and unpredictable behavior because of the way in which their elements interact. The questions of whether and how such a definition can be applied to both scientific and social systems are obvious and illustrate the necessity of interdisciplinary cooperation.
Harald Schwalbe, professor of organic chemistry and chemical biology, and Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, professor of philosophy and director of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, are heading up the project, which is uniquely conceived as an alliance of the disciplines in the natural and life sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences. In this way, it brings researchers from two separate campuses – the Westend campus and the Riedberg campus – together in one research team.
The aim of the research collaboration and the funding of the Aventis Foundation is to carry the project over to a more extensive framework by the end of its term to then be presented to one of the larger research funding organizations.
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(FKH - 13.12.2017)
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