onsdag den 11. april 2012

Skabelse af ny og særegen viden

Cross-disciplinary PhD Course on

This PhD course aims at providing a space for reflection about originality in scientific research. Originality is taken as one of the main norms of science (Merton 1973, Ziman 2000), the norm that scientific claims contribute something new, whether a new problem, a new approach, new data, a new theory or a new explanation. We will discuss this norm, share perspectives and techniques, and collaborate in grasping this theme. We will investigate this value/norm by projecting it onto several discussable dichotomies, those of individual-collective, competition-collaboration, freedom-structure, and originality as bottom-up vs top-down.

Considering the division between individual and collective in the pursuit of a PhD degree, one may ask: How much of your Ph.D. research is done by you as an individual (involved in a 'lonely' process) and how much is done collaboratively by (or through) asking others to help, to participate, to supervise, to discuss, to contribute to common papers? How does competition versus cooperation cross-cut the "solely my part" / "do together with others part" distinction? What conflicts and benefits may emerge and how to handle them? How do those conflicts resonate or disresonate with general values of science like the Mertonian ones?

Additionally to these questions, most PhD students have asked themselves about the process of making a PhD, "What am I doing?", "Why am I doing this?", “How am I doing it?”, “How to move on?”, “How to focus?”, “How do I know what I can contribute?”, at times with a great sense of isolation, but these questions can be asked in a group setting, with the possibility of creating better personal strategies integrating inspiration and collaboration from different sources.

Another important process concerns the types of scientific thinking. Scientific thinking is complex and it involves, at least, creative thinking and critical thinking – at the same time. Academics have a tendency to train the critical thinking more than creative thinking, so in this course we will both question and reflect upon originality in science as well as foster creative thinking by considering theories and cases and use the potential of a mixed international course and the potential differences (in approach, styles of reasoning, science as a vocation) that are seen and worked with as an asset, a potential.

Thus, we will discuss the theme of originality in science by relating it to other values of science, such as openness, critical review (from peers or supervisors) and the general scientific standards of the field, and frame that in the context of the working processes in academia, with examples from creativity in research, and from collaborations between art and science. Moreover, we will use philosophical techniques to reveal the issues related to such a desired value of originality in science.

At this course there is the awareness that we learn in different ways, and tend to create our own set of individual and collaborative practices. So, there will be a mixture of space for peer-to-peer learning and inspiration from experienced researchers.

It is the aim to make this a truly mixed course, with participants from different disciplines and different national and educational backgrounds, as we believe this will contribute to the creative processes during the course, and thereby enhance the learning outcomes for participants. Although the focus of the PhD course is on the natural and technical sciences and aimed at those students, students from the social sciences and the humanities are welcome, as they can also profit from the course, as well as contribute to a greater diversity of perspectives.

Dates: 18-19 + 21-22 June, 2012, 9am-4pm
Where: Department of Science Education, Øster Voldgade 3 (the old astronomical observatory), 1350 Copenhagen K.
Credits: 5 ECTS
Registration: latest by the 18th of May. See website.

Claus Emmeche (philosophy of science), Department of Science Education, Center for the Philosophy of Nature and Science Studies, University of Copenhagen
Klemens Kappel (philosophy of knowledge), Department of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen
Sofie Kobayashi (science pedagogy), Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen
Finn Thorbjørn Hansen (philosophical counseling), Department of Curriculum Research, Århus University
Victor Vidal (creative problem solving, artist & retired professor), DTU
Rut Jesus (art and science, guest lecturer), Department of Science Education, University of Copenhagen
Mette Høst (art and science), Artist in Residence, Copenhagen
Jon Nixon (higher education), University of Sheffield, UK
Lisa Olsson (social psychology), Gothenburg University, Sweden
Eva Brodin (PhD education), Centre for Educational Development, Lund University, Sweden