The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Events
Friday, 29 April 2022, 15:00
Venue: Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, Am Wingertsberg 4, 61348 Bad Homburg
Lecture and Workshop | Research focus »Coping with Complexity«
Rudolf Stichweh (Bonn University)»The Complexity of the Modern Science System and the Problems of the World Society«
About the lecture
The modern scientific system emerges during the period of the second scientific revolution of 1760-1840, grounded in institutions such as disciplinarity, universal accessibility of publication opportunities, individual authorship, the research imperative as a form of production of science, the control of conflicts, and the emergence of national scientific communities in the newly formed disciplines. The lecture outlines this development and presents the dramatic transformations science has undergone since its beginning: Disciplinarity is supplemented by inter- and multidisciplinarity; access to publications is transformed via multiple forms of peer review; research is reorganized in project form and redefined by dependence on external funding and associated forms of peer review; extremely complex forms of co- and multi-authorship take the place of individual authorship; conflicts are replaced by the universal expectation of cooperation, which competitively relates cooperating groups to each other; recognition, citation, and reputation give rise to a complex hierarchy of researchers; national communities are replaced by a taken-for-granted globality of science supported by multiple mechanisms.
These transformations are related to the transformations of societal problems, which are linked to science in many ways. In this sense, there must now be talk in a radically new sense of ›responsivity‹ of the science system in relation to society. In this context, something like a responsibility of science for the problems of society also arises, since science knows that it understands the problems best and cannot look on ›disinterestedly‹ at the work on problem solutions. The unquestioning globality of science is in turn closely related to the fact that the problems of society are interpreted and worked on as world problems and often cannot be thought of and worked on in any other form. The complex structure of society and the complexity growth of science are an obvious case of co-evolution. World society is the result and the driving force of these transformations.
About the speaker
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Stichweh is Senior Professor of Sociology at the »Forum Internationale Wissenschaft« and at the »Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies« (Cluster of Excellence) at the University of Bonn. He is also director of the department »Comparative Research on Democracies« at the »Forum Internationale Wissenschaft«. From 1994 to 2020, he was Professor of Sociology in Bielefeld, Lucerne and Bonn and remains a permanent Visiting Professor at the University of Lucerne. He is also a member of Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste (Düsseldorf), and the Nationalakademie Leopoldina (Halle). His research focuses on the theory of world society, the sociology of the foreign, the sociology of science and universities, theories of sociocultural evolution, systems theory, the sociology of art, and the theory of inclusion and exclusion.
Research Focus »Coping with Complexity«
Our time is characterized by global crises such as pandemics, climate change, eroding democracies, and fractures in geopolitical relations. Despite all the differences, one common property can be observed in all these crises: an underlying complexity. In the face of these threatening but imminent challenges to our society, research is needed that can analytically describe and understand this complexity. Since the problems have different aspects, a view from different directions is indispensable. In the transdisciplinary research network »Coping with Complexity«, researchers from the natural and life sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences are working together to develop a fundamental theoretical understanding of complexity in order to improve our ability to cope with complex systems and the current and upcoming crises.
Project speakers: Andreas Fahrmeir, Professor of Modern History, Goethe University; Harald Schwalbe, Professor of Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Goethe University; Julia Sigwart, Head of Section of Malacology at Senckenberg Research Institute & Museum.
Dr. Thomas Schimmer, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften firstname.lastname@example.org