What are emerging patterns of research and knowledge transfer in the digital age?

This research programme looks at central questions at the intersection of technology, research, and knowledge dissemination. New technologies are creating new premises for how knowledge is generated and disseminated. The Internet can be understood as the essential infrastructure for a type of society, the key resource of which is knowledge. Thus, generating, processing and »storing” knowledge  is becoming a key factor for the private and the public sector alike.  This programme will focus on organisational learning, since this can only be understood by combining innovation research and the analysis of governance structures.

This also changes the role of organisations that are active in the field of academic knowledge production, like universities and research centres. This is demonstrated in the exchange of research data or technology-based citizen science, which is bringing about new modes of scientific collaboration. Through social media, scholars can communicate research content more quickly and directly (e.g. SciBlogs). At the same time, new teaching models such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have come into being. These developments pose new challenges for science, whose classical understandings shape its own audience. A focus on academic knowledge production comes with the additional challenge that universities, to take an example, are in in the process of transformation as regards their own knowledge production, and, at the same time, face a  change in their role as sources of knowledge for business and governments.

There are three aspects of the programme:

  1. How will knowledge be generated and processed in different areas? (e.g. government, parliaments, companies, other sectors and the role of the crowd)?
  2. How have systems of knowledge come to be described? Who decides what does and does not constitute knowledge?
  3. Is problem-oriented research a special case in knowledge production? What interfaces are there between science and other fields (e.g. political science, economics, etc.). Is there a need for new forms?