MPIfG Annual Colloquium − Institutstag

The MPIfG Annual Colloquia are intended as a forum for discussion for social and political scientists from the MPIfG and other research institutions as well as individuals engaged in the study of politics, society and the economy. The two-day event aims to present current research taking place at the MPIfG and to provide an opportunity for informal discussion. The colloquia are organized jointly by the MPIfG and the Society of Friends and Former Associates of the MPIfG and have been held every autumn since 2008.



14th Annual Colloquium, November 18−19, 2021

Knowledge in Crisis

Program overview (PDF)
We lead with “science and truth” promised US President-elect Joe Biden at the presentation of his Cabinet. And in response to the “Querdenker” movement in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that objective science serves as her foundation. In a time of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic, whether political leaders acknowledge facts and consider scientific assessments can make the difference between life and death. At the same time, the changing opportunities for participation in discourse have created a confusing field of claims to and on knowledge. But whose knowledge counts? And what do we know for certain? In pandemic response, climate policy, or economic governance, far-reaching decisions must be made on the basis of uncertain knowledge, inevitably politicizing science. At a time when criticism of expert knowledge is being instrumentalized for conspiracy theories and we see the importance of acknowledged facts for democratic action, we need new approaches to the analysis and evaluation of knowledge.

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According to current planning, the 14th Annual Colloquium will return to the traditional face-to-face format at the MPIfG in Cologne, under the coronavirus protection measures that will then apply. Alternatively, you can follow the event via the livestream.
Please switch to the German page to register.

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