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Event access: Internal
Public debates today are considered more polarized, heated and irreconcilable than in the past. This is said to be the case for major social issues such as the Covid 19 pandemic, climate change, or the invasion of Ukraine, but also for smaller and more issue-specific debates such as the discussions around the protests in wake of the rebellion against the mandatory hijab law in Iran, the antisemitism scandal at the documenta fifteen, or the German Self-Determination Act (Selbstbestimmungsgesetz).
Academics are involved in many of these discussions. They are consulted as experts or enter the debate themselves. While the role of scientific and medical expertise has been extensively discussed in public debates, especially in the wake of climate research and the Covid 19 pandemic, the role of the humanities, law and social sciences received much less attention. However, these disciplines have distinctive features, for example in how professional consensus is reached.
The workshop will explore what expertise from these disciplines can contribute to political debates and where their limits lie. It will also shed light on the functions and consequences of the participation of academics in these debates: Does the participation of researchers lead to a depolarization and a more objective debate, or does it even contribute to polarization? What reactions should involved academics expect, both from the public and from the academic community?