Who we are
The Interdisciplinary Forum is a cross-faculty network of student representatives, student alliances and researchers at the University of Cologne. In October 2020, a number of stakeholders formed the Interdisciplinary Forum in an attempt to both identify key future research fields and to promote interdisciplinary cooperation among the university members. The general intention of the initiative is to integrate existing research activities from the various faculties and create new partnerships and synergies in order to address the major challenges of our time. Therefore we need a platform that allows us to engage in the various fields, such as sustainability, peace research, ethics, and the history and theory of science. With the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Forum, we seek to provide such a platform.
For this purpose, we aim to create spaces for interdisciplinary, cross-faculty collaboration as well as a framework for innovative and creative research and teaching. Furthermore, we want to establish and expand international scientific networking and the exchange with public stakeholders.
In our current examination of a variety of topics, we have received a great deal of approval and encouragement. Based on this, we plan to generate broader attention at the Universty of Cologne in the coming years and win new members for collaborative projects. In addition to the intensive assessment of our thematic foci, the identification of possible interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaborations are needed. By interdisciplinary work in this forum we understand the collaboration of a number of researchers from different disciplines on future-oriented topics. This engagement in research and teaching shall then constitute the basis to make the joint work accessible to a broader public and enable the cooperation with public stakeholders, who may contribute their expertise in a transdisciplinary cooperation and facilitate the connection between scientific and public knowledges. This shall also provide the opportunity to connect the theoretical and research-based findings with an experience-based practice that fosters social transformations.
Our vision for the next years is to build up a platform where students and scientists at the University of Cologne can exchange ideas and strengthen interdisciplinary cooperations. Furthermore, we intend to establish structures, such as a Center for Peace and Sustainability Studies, in the long term, combining the already existing scientific efforts to the key questions of the future and the experiences and aspirations of the society to actively engage in the Third Mission of the universities.