Schlagwort-Archive: Titel

Making sense of climate change in North Africa and the Middle East

Update: The deadline has been extended until November 15, 2019 – find now also a french version of the call here.

We welcome contributions to our workshop on climate change in the Middle East and North Africa (and beyond) next june in Berlin! Feel free to forward our call to more people who might be interested.

Call for Papers „Making Sense of Climate Change – Models, Cosmologies and Practices from North Africa and the Middle East”

8–9 June 2020, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin

The Middle East and North Africa are, according to recent predictions, one of the regions most affected by global warming (IPCC 2014). Nonetheless, although some social scientists focusing on the MENA have addressed the issue (Sowers 2011, 2013; Barnes 2015), climate change is still widely absent in Middle Eastern studies and other disciplines relating to the region.

Making sense of climate change in North Africa and the Middle East weiterlesen

Breaking the (pay)wall

Why is it so expensive to access the results of publicly-funded research – a fact that makes research much more difficult if not inpossible in remote areas or poor countries? A new documentary shows the role of publishers in “business of scholarhips” works – and a new initiative by european research institutions tries to save the concept of open access

When I started studying many years ago, I read, like many others, the book about how to write a thesis by Umberto Eco. The book, written in the 1970s, deals with the problem of how to access the literature necessary to write about a specific topic – and is shows that it was very common thiry years ago that students or researchers had to travel all over the country (or even to another country) to search the libraries for the books and articles they needed. While this may still be true for people working on very special topics or doing research in archives, for most others, with the technical development of the last decades, this could indeed be over.

It could. From a technical point of view, it would be no problem to access research articles from all over the world even in the smallest library. But in fact, the opposite is true. A few days ago I talked to a friend living in a remote area of Europe, with no bigger city around – to get access to the research paper she needs for work and research, she actually still has to travel by train or plane to the next university city or even the capital – because just these librairies have access to the journals she needs, and because they can not open to remote-access. People living in poorer countries, with not public librairies or more-or-less well-founded universities around may not even have the chance to do so.

Breaking the (pay)wall weiterlesen

Bruno Latour und die neuen “Science wars”

Bruno Latour, französischer Wissenschaftssoziologe und Mitbegründer der Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie, ist gerade in Rente gegangen – und befindet sich auf einmal inmitten eines zweiten “Krieges” um Wissenschaft und Wahrheit. Als “Science wars” wurde in den 1990er Jahren der Disput bezeichnet, den Latour und andere Vertreter der Wissenschaftssoziologie anheizten, weil sie proklamierten, das wissenschaftlich Ergebnisse immer (auch) sozial konstruiert seien.

Heute, 20 Jahre später, steht die “Wahrheit” wissenschaftlicher Aussagen wieder im Zentrum eines erbitterten Streits. Latour allerdings steht heute auf der anderen Seite. In Zeiten, da politische Lager die Zuverlässigkeit wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse – insbesondere zum Thema Klimawandel – bestreiten, versucht er nun, das Vertrauen in wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse wieder herzustellen. “Wir müssen etwas von der Autorität der Wissenschaft zurückgewinnen. Das ist das komplette Gegenteil von dem was wir taten, als wir begannen, Wissenschaftsstudien durchzuführen,” sagte Latour kürzlich in einem Interview der Zeitschrift Science.

Bruno Latour und die neuen “Science wars” weiterlesen