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DFG Research Group „Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences“

Cooperation and Competition are usually described as mutually exclusive, while the dynamics of modern science is mostly attributed to the latter. However, upon closer inspection the principle of competetion appears to be conditioned by its historical and culutral context. Additionally, science in particular presents itself as a context in which Cooperation and Competition are interlocked: Typically, competing relationships between acotrs within science are embedded in cooperative structures; moreover, means-end rationality frequently points towards cooperation as the best option in the medium term due to epistemic reasons. Which mode of action dominates is dependent on the situation, historically unsteady and integrated into constant renegotiations, since neither Cooperation nor Competition ever result in stable configurations.

A research group constituted itself at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), the Deutsches Museum (DM), the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (IfZ) and the Ruhr-Universität Bochum which takes up a historical perspective to investigate the relationship between Cooperation and Competition. Lead by Kärin Nickelsen (History of Science Department at LMU) and aided by grants of the Exzellenzinitiative, an initial funding has been acquired from the LMU investment fund.

The DFG-Research Group exists since October 2017, with Prof. Dr. Kärin Nickelsen as its speaker.

For more information, please visit the projects homepage.

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