Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences


Competition plays a major role in research, with academicians vying for third-party funding, publications, and research awards. Academic work is, however, also always anchored in cooperative structures and project frameworks. The DFG research group on “Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences” is dedicated to studying, from the perspective of contemporary history, the tensions and interactive group dynamics that arise when today’s academic partners become tomorrow’s potential competitors. It brings together scientists from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, the German Museum, Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, and the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ), and connects the fields of the history of science, contemporary history, and Eastern European history in an innovative fashion. Kärin Nickelsen (Department of History of Science at LMU) is the project speaker. The project’s focus lies in interactive group dynamics between cooperation and competition, the roles and self-images of academic and academic-political actors, as well as the substantive effects of these dynamics.

The IfZ is involved in two of the subprojects. Andreas Wirsching supervises the postdoc project carried out by Annemone Christians of the LMU on “EUREKA” and European research and technology policy, while Elke Seefried is the supervisor of a project on “Cooperation and Competition under the Conditions of the Cold War”, conducted by Liza Soutschek of the IfZ.

An overview of all subprojects of the DFG research group can be found on the LMU website.

© Institut für Zeitgeschichte