As one of FAU’s central institutes, the Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications performs research and teaching tasks for the whole university.
In the area of research, the Center focuses on applied philosophy of science, taking an interdisciplinary approach to address fundamental questions in relation to science. These questions include the role of science in society, epistemological mechanisms, the diversity (diverse characteristics) of different disciplines and the implication of research findings. In our current research we concentrate on the following areas / aspects:
Trust in science:
- How and why are research findings trusted to have first-rate explanatory power?
- What is the relationship between this status of academic research and findings from other, non-academic sources?
- How can these results be communicated to a broader public and what role do they play for non-academics?
- What is the meaning of interdisciplinarity, and what are the characteristics of interdisciplinary academic research?
- What framework is required to perform interdisciplinary research, and where are its limitations?
- How can FAU encourage interdisciplinarity across all disciplines?
Science and society:
- If new ways of accessing knowledge are developed, how does this influence the current status and claims of science?
- How do demands for practical application and utility result in changes in academic research in general or in individual disciplines?
- How can a productive, reciprocal dialog between science and society be enhanced and supported?
These and other questions are addressed on an interdisciplinary basis at the Center for Applied Philosophy of Science and Key Qualifications in close cooperation with FAU researchers in all subjects and faculties. The results are incorporated / presented in a wide range of events and information, which are also intended for the general public. Since our research affects society and science equally, one of the Center’s key objectives is to encourage a constructive dialog between the general public and the University.
Tasks in teaching and research:
Research and teaching at the Center are closely connected. Results from the research areas described above feed directly into the courses taught at the Center. This particularly applies for the area of key qualifications (including FAUMUN and BliSeh). Through its key qualifications program, FAU encourages its students’ curiosity beyond their own subject and teaches them skills which are important for their studies and later careers.
The Center coordinates all the key qualification measures offered throughout the University, evaluates courses and is responsible for the program’s development. The Center’s courses include seminars in the areas of presentation and communication, academic writing and scientific journalism, futures studies and media skills (photography, video production, visual design).
Another important focus in the area of teaching and services is the Orientation Program (GOS). As part of the QuiS project (Quality in Teaching and Studies) at FAU, an interdisciplinary team of lecturers is responsible for teaching students important knowledge and skills prior to the start of their studies and in their early days at the University. Through workshops and discussion groups, a writing workshop, courses on academic writing, a peer mentoring program and many other services, the Center helps students to find their feet at the University and in their subject, as well as offering targeted assistance should they experience any difficulties.
Part of the Center’s teaching-related portfolio is the “BliSeh” project run by Dr. Wolfgang Krebs. Blind and visually impaired students at FAU are given extensive support in the framework of this project. This includes individual assistance for students, for example with their academic research or using the library, helping them to prepare for exams and teaching relevant key qualifications. Addressing the inclusion of blind and visually impaired students is an important concern which also includes seminars and raising students’ awareness towards the needs of fellow blind and visually impaired students.