Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in Science and Technology

Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in Science and Technology

Graduate School “Transformations of science and technology since 1800: topics, processes, institutions” (University of Wuppertal)
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24.09.2023 - 29.09.2023
Dania Achermann, IZWT, Bergische Universität Wuppertal

The Graduate School “Transformations of science and technology since 1800: topics, processes, institutions” (GRK 2696), in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Summer School Series in Higher Education Research and Science Studies ( invites applications for the Summer School "Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in Science and Technology ", taking place 24-29 Sept. 2023 in Wuppertal (Germany) at the Flemings Express Hotel.

Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity in Science and Technology

Science as a social system has grown rapidly during the 20th and the early 21st centuries. This growth involved processes of cognitive and social differentiation, resulting in an increasing variety of scientific disciplines and research fields. Thomas Kuhn argued that similar to the speciation of new biological organisms, new disciplines emerge when scientists increasingly rely on a new lexicon that excludes non-specialists from scientific communication. In his view, such “lexical diversity” permits the sciences to solve more complex scientific puzzles than a lexically homogeneous science. In contrast, Peter Galison argued that “trading zones” between fields can bridge gaps in communication through interdisciplinary collaboration. The summer school will examine both collaboration and interdisciplinarity from the perspectives of history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology. We will discuss state-of-the-art theories, methods and research designs that aim at better understanding the complex web of scientific collaboration, the costs and benefits of interdisciplinary research, the competition between research fields, institutional conditions for successful collaboration, and their impact on scientific careers. The summer school will give early career researchers the opportunity to discuss these issues with leading scholars and probe new ideas for their own projects.

Confirmed lecturers and Working Group titles:

- Daniel Acuña, University of Colorado Boulder (Computer Science, Science of Science): tba
- Hanne Andersen, University of Copenhagen (Philosophy of Science): "Studies of interdisciplinarity: Questioning the legends"
- Hunter Heyck, University of Oklahoma (History of Science and Technology): tba
- Erin Leahy, University of Arizona, Tucson (Sociology of Science): "Collaboration is hard. Interdisciplinary research is hard. What does it get us?"
- Cyrus Mody, University of Maastricht (History and Sociology of Science): "Scientific 'Bubbles' in Nanotechnology and Beyond"
- Hannah Rubin, University of Missouri (Philosophy of Science): "Modeling scientists’ social interactions and their consequences"

We invite contributions from advanced graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology as well as the fields of science of science and science & innovation studies. We are interested in both theoretical as well as the empirical contributions addressing various aspects of collaboration and interdisciplinarity in science and technology.

To apply, please send the following material in a single pdf file by 31 May 2023 to
- Letter of motivation
- Short CV

The application process will be competitive and participants will be selected according to qualification and research interests. The cost of participation will be € 250 and includes full board and lodging.

A selection of participants will be given the opportunity to give short presentations of their own work as part of the school. The presentations will be followed by a commentary from a faculty member of the graduate school or one of the invited speakers. In case you intend to give a presentation, please include in your application:
- Title of your talk
- Long abstract (approx. 1000 words) focusing on work in progress from ongoing research projects addressing the above issues.

We offer a small number of stipends to participants with limited funding opportunities. To apply for a stipend, please also prepare and submit a letter, no longer than one page, explaining your financial situation.

The Graduate School is strongly committed to creating equal opportunities. In case of equal qualification, preference will be given to underrepresented groups. We are organizing on-site child care. Please indicate in your application if you intend to bring your child or children.

You can contact the organizers of the summer school using the email address

For more information (incl. abstracts of the lectures) see:
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