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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

№ 225/2021 from Nov 10, 2021

The new Research Atlas “Social Cohesion” depicts the Berlin research environment on the topic of social cohesion. The interactive website was developed by the Grand Challenge Forum “Social Cohesion,” which is part of the 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. It is intended to give more visibility to research currently being conducted as well as to social themes and new interfaces. 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. For example, the topics of sports, culture, housing, religion, climate change, and digitization were represented. Subsequently, interviews with experts from science and research, the economy, administration, and society helped to identify objectives, connections, and research gaps.

“Social cohesion is part of diverse and lively debates. This is made apparent in the broad range of topics and diverse aspects visualized in the research atlas. The visualization enables us to see where the focus of university research on social cohesion in Berlin lies as well as research on the topic that is not affiliated with academia. 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 academia,” stresses 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 six research projects under the funding line. They are exploration projects that that take an inter- and transdisciplinary approach to examine what holds our society together. 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? On the basis of these factors, the projects demonstrate structures that can contribute to a stable and prosperous future for societies over the long term. The exploration projects are also included in the “Social Cohesion” research atlas.

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 German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the State of Berlin under the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments.

Joint press release issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin along with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Press Contact

Hans-Christoph Keller, acting press spokesperson for the Berlin University Alliance and press spokesperson for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Email: medien@berlin-university-alliance.de

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