Interdisciplining the university – Prospects for sustainable knowledge production
This project scrutinizes the tensions that arise from the recent shift from discipline-driven to more demand-driven university research, which is characterized by a greater significance of inter- and transdisciplinarity.
We examine the implications of these tensions for the social and cognitive mechanisms that give scientific knowledge its distinctive epistemic character. While such mechanisms are emphasized in the philosophy of science, their nature and operation in changing institutional contexts is not well understood.
To fill this gap, we conduct a philosophically grounded, yet policy relevant, case study at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), which is currently undergoing a radical structural change. We explore how the reorganization of LUT research into strategically designed interdisciplinary research platforms influences the dynamics of knowledge production, and evaluate the consequences of these changes for the epistemic sustainability of university research.
Research project is ongoing from 2016 to 2020, with funding from the Academy of Finland. The research team belongs to the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science (TINT).