Research Atlas "Social Cohesion" of the Berlin University Alliance is Online
Interactive Website Shows Research Projects and Participating Institutions in Berlin on the Topic of Social Cohesion
News from Nov 10, 2021
The new Research Atlas “Social Cohesion” shows the Berlin research environment on the topic of social cohesion. The interactive website is part of the Grand Challenge Forum „Social Cohesion“ of the same name Grand Challenge Initiative of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA). The aim of the project is to visualize current research activities in Berlin as well as research needs. In this way, current scientific objective areas, social topics as well as new interfaces are gaining visibility. With the help of the research atlas, different contents on the topic of social cohesion can be discussed from a transdisciplinary perspective. The website was technically developed, and its content implemented by the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform.
For the creation of the research atlas, all 55 funded projects of the BUA pre-call in 2019 on the topic of "social cohesion" were clustered into 23 topic blocks and laid out in a mind map; the topics of sports, culture, housing, religion, climate change, and digitization are represented here, for example. Subsequently, interviews with experts from science, economy, administration, and society helped to identify objective areas, connections, and research gaps.
"Social cohesion is part of diverse and lively debates. The broad range of topics and diverse aspects visualized in the research atlas reflect this. This allows us to see where the focus of university research and research not affiliated with academia on social cohesion in Berlin lies. Our particular concern is to include expertise from areas of society not affiliated with academia, such as associations or NGOs, and to reflect this in the atlas. Therefore, the atlas shows where there are research needs on the part of society as well as science," emphasizes Dr. Audrey Podann of Technische Universität Berlin, a member of the BUA's Fostering Knowledge Exchange steering committee.
The BUA has set itself the goal of jointly creating an integrated research environment in Berlin to conduct research on the "major challenges" – the "grand challenges" – of the 21st century. The first Grand Challenge Initiative focuses on social cohesion. In addition to the 55 pre-call projects, the BUA has approved 6 research projects under the funding line, which are exploration projects that examine what holds our society together in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner. The unifying question of the research projects, which will initially run for three years, is: What are the preconditions, dynamics, perspectives, and limits of social cohesion? Based on these, the projects demonstrate suitable solution structures for a permanently successful, stable, and prosperous societal future. See also the "Social Cohesion" research atlas for the exploration projects.
The Berlin University Alliance
The Berlin University Alliance is a consortium consisting of three major Berlin universities – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin – and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, established to shape research and education in Berlin. The four partners joined forces to further develop Berlin as a research hub with international drawing power. Together the partners explore major societal challenges, increase public outreach, promote the training of junior researchers, address issues of quality and standards in research, and share resources in the areas of research infrastructure, teaching, diversity, equal opportunities, and internationalization. The Berlin University Alliance is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the state of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder.
Joint press release from Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Hans-Christoph Keller, acting press spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and press spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin