Käte Hamburger International Center to Be Established at RWTH

09/04/2021

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Gabriele Gramelsberger

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+49 241 80 25496

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The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF for short, has decided to establish the “Cultures of Research” Käte Hamburger International Center at RWTH Aachen University.

 

The Center, which will be headed by Professor Gabriele Gramelsberger, Chair for Theory of Science and Technology, and Professor Stefan Böschen, Chair of Society and Technology, is set to receive nine million euros in funding from the BMBF. Both directors are members or the RWTH Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The Center will have a particular focus on the manifold research cultures in the sciences and investigate their commonalities, differences, and how they are being transformed through transdisciplinary discourse.

A key research question is how research is being transformed through its increasing focus on the major societal challenges of our time, such as climate change, the energy transition, biologization, and sustainability, which results in an orientation towards complex systems research. These developments are accompanied by the use of new digital approaches such as simulation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Science and technology are increasingly interrelated, and research cultures are transformed accordingly.

An International and Transdisciplinary Outlook

Over the last few years, the BMBF has established 14 International Centers, named after German Studies scholar Käte Hamburger, to open up new perspectives for top-level research in the humanities and the social sciences that is enriched by an international and transdisciplinary outlook. The Aachen Center will have a particular focus on transdisciplinary research between the humanities and social sciences and the natural, life, and technical sciences. It is the first Käte Hamburger International Center to be set up at a university of technology.

“By establishing four new International Centers, the Federal Ministry is addressing the challenges arising from today’s rapid developments in science and technology. The major challenges of our time require more integrated and transdisciplinary approaches between the disciplines. We at RWTH embrace transdisciplinary collaboration,” said Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, rector of RWTH Aachen University.

Professors Lars Blank from the Institute of Applied Microbiology, Matthias Wessling from the Chair of Chemical Process Engineering, and Markus Diesmann from the Division of Computational Neuroscience and the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Forschungszentrum Jülich, will be closely involved in the Center’s activities.

Each year, ten researchers from all over the world will be invited to spend a period of time in residence at the Center. Furthermore, the Center will seek to collaborate with research institutions in the Meuse–Rhine Euroregion, in particular with Maastricht University and the University of Liège.