From rags to riches: building an inter- and transdisciplinary research environment from scratch

  • Datum: 19.01.2021
  • Am Dienstag, den 19. Januar findet um 13 Uhr die nächste Veranstaltung im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe Digital Citizen Science statt. Zu Gast sind Martin Mauve und Tobias Escher von der Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, die über ihre Projekte und Initiativen rund um digitale demokratische Teilhabe berichten werden. Weitere Informationen zur Veranstaltung erhalten Sie hier.


    Mehr über den Vortrag:

    In 2011 the success of the Pirate Party sparked the interest of several researchers at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf. The idea of a "digital democracy" where everyone could easily participate in decision-making processes was fascinating not only for scholars from the areas of social sciences such as Political Science, Communication Science and Sociology, but also for colleagues from Computer Science, Business Administration and Law. While moving from mono disciplinary research to a very interdisciplinary setting was very, very exciting it did not lead to immediate success. On the contrary - we encountered a lot of skepticism and rejection both within our respective research communities and from reviewers of our joint project proposals. It was only after we also embraced transdisciplinarity – in the sense of integrating practitioners at eye level – that we were able to demonstrate successfully that we can tackle significant research challenges in a unique way. This, in turn, led to the establishment of the PhD programme on online participation, the founding of the Düsseldorf Institute of Internet and Democracy and it played a significant role in establishing the new Institute for Digitalization Research at the NRW state level.

    In this talk we will report on the lessons learned during that process. We will also report on one specific research project that investigated the practical impact of online participation. In this project we conducted and evaluated an online participation processes in partnership with the cities of Bonn, Cologne and Moers in NRW. It illustrates how important – and rewarding – an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research environment is.