Forum für Kritische Interdisziplinarität (FKI)

In 2015, the Teaching Award of the State of Baden-Württemberg was given for the first time to the KIT, for our interdisciplinary courses. By the Forum for Critical Interdisciplinarity, we want to lift the dialogue between the disciplines onto a new level.

What is the motivation?

Science has been a central driving force for human civilisation. While the active participation in scientific debates had been a central element of cultural life till far into the 19th century, science and society have shifted apart since. Society progressively perceives science as something alien, which is not transparent for the outer world. Scientists have got the reputation "to know everything about a specialised Nothing". The dialogue over the borders of disciplines, the courage to ask intelligent questions beyond the fence or to critically question apparently solid ideas is urgently needed - more urgently than ever.  

What do we want?

To support this critical dialogue we have launched at the KIT the „Forum for Critical Interdisciplinarity“ (FKI), run by the money, we have got for the award (press release). By the FKI we pursue two goals:

1.   We want to work on topics that are interdisciplinary. This typically includes issues that are situated across or at the borders of scientific disciplines, and stimulate own questions and debates such as „Form and Process“, „Organism and Structure“, „History and Nature“, „Force and Law“. At the same time we want to show, how science, especially natural science has been changing continously. How do our concepts depend on tools and means we use? How are the images we use to explain the world around us depend on the methods we have at hand?

2.   Interdisziplinarity lives on debate, and the central approach of the FKI will be the scientific debate. We feel that it is important to provide students the chance to experience scientific debates as exciting and rewarding activity. In addition to impulses from „classical“ lectures we also will offer work shops and summer schools on topics of interest.

The FKI is addressed to students of all disciplines that have already collected some experience or already master their first degree. When you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Prof. Dr. Mathias Gutmann, Institute for Philosophy

Prof. Dr. Peter Nick, Botanical Institute

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