The Herrenhausen Conference "Society through the Lens of the Digital" explores the role of the social sciences and the humanities in a society saturated with debates on the effects of digitization: Parties, NGOs and the public sphere explore ideas of digital democracy. Luminaries of business try to map and unlock the potential of big data and of platform capitalism. Data journalists experiment with modes of describing the world not through linear texts but through algorithms and interactive visualizations while intelligent systems have to learn to navigate the often-ambiguous rules and structures of society. We're lacking scientific approaches to this multiplicity of discourses on digitization, which allow us to adequately explore its implications for research, research policy and the public role of the social sciences and humanities. The Herrenhausen Conference "Society through the Lens of the Digital" aims to fill this gap.
As a forum for debate between scholars and experts from civil society, politics, economy and journalism the conference will tackle questions such as: What role should the social sciences and the humanities play in the digitization of society? Which kind of answers are they expected to provide? How can they better fulfill their role as mediators and translators between the conflicting and sometimes even incommensurable perspectives on digital change? The discussion of theoretical, methodological and empirical tools thus is not only aimed at the further development of concepts and theories within the social sciences and humanities. Equally important is the question of how they can help the social sciences and humanities to open up to collaboration with the STEM fields and to help solve the grand challenges of digitization.
Prof. Dr. Armin Nassehi, University of Munich, Germany,
Florian Süssenguth, acatech, Germany,
Dr. Cornelius Puschmann, Hans-Bredow-Institute Hamburg, Germany