Cooperation and Competition

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An LMU research group funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)

Third party funding, publications in pertinent journals, or top spots in scholarly rankings—these are the rewards for which scientists and scientific institutions are competing. Often, the scientific enterprise is described as a competition of all against all. This view tends to conceal the fact that scholars are parts of collaborative structures in numerous ways: More often than not, they pursue their research goals as part of a larger group, share their insights and results with colleagues, and exchange ideas at conferences. Without cooperation, science would be unthinkable.

Our research project “Cooperation and Competition in the Sciences” focuses on this paradox of the modern scientific enterprise. It aims at studying settings within the social complex of science that are shaped by this tension between cooperation and competition. Its central goal is to describe these settings and their dynamics in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying conventions and mechanisms in their full historical complexity.

The research group's spokesperson is Kärin Nickelsen.


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