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Conference on german Science Studies

Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the Sociology of Knowledge are largely seperate fields in german Sociology. To overcome this trench the respective sections of the German Assosication for Sociology met for a mutual conference at Technische Universität Berlin on january 18. and 19. Our fellows Kalja Kanellopoulos and Andreas Bischof attended the event.

The core of the joint-work was the question about the social dimension(s) of scientific knowledge. The associated problems, e.g.the relations between different types of knowledge like “everyday knowledge” vs. “scienctific knowledge”, have been handled as empricial questions, which allowed a comparative perspective. Some of the discussed dimensions briefly touched:

Production of Scientific Knowledge
The basic social mode of production of scientific knowledge is boundary work. It’s production as canonical knowledge is based on personal networks, and shaped by opposing dynamics in scientific knowledge (differentiation) and the organization of academic science (stratification). The production of scientific knowledge in companies can lead to irresolvable contradictions, particularly for qualitative research. A softer institution of the production and updating of scientific knowledge are conferences and conventions itself, their multiple functions should be investigated further.

Legitimation of Scientific Knowledge
Regarded as an essential distinction against other forms of knowledge, scientific knowledge institutionalized its own forms of legitimacy. In modern science the book review is one of the classical forms of literary criticism. The qualitative analysis of different review journals shows how necessary the comparative analysis of differentiated academic cultures is. A relatively new form of assessment of scientific knowledge is the appointment of quantifying algorithms. Examining these bibliometrics and its meaning in recent publishing shows their lack of standard and possibility of abuse. As an outlook for future research, forms of popular scientific mediation has been mentioned, particularly used by natural sciences. Those reflect a special and recent form of legitimation of scientific knowledge: its capability of being connectable to public discourses.

Effects of Scientific Knowledge
Scientific knowledge is the base for most governance strategies and instruments. Political decisions about legal conditions of human medical issues such as organ donation are more and more delegated to expert committees, with lack scientific examination. By becoming part of governance structures, the scientific knowledge undergoes a peculiar social effect: It becomes “blind” for its own derivation and tends to construct society as an external entity. It therefore operates in a semantics of naturalization of social order. Another example for the diffusion of scientific knowledge in various sectors of society is the analysis and monitoring of human practices using cameras. Evaluation forms such as eye tracking in market research or surveillance of public places develop specific forms of visual objectivity.


VAR2 Conference

Keynote from Prof. Patricia Soh-Khim Ong, National University of Singapore on "Use of Augmented Reality in Design and Manufacturing"

Keynote from Prof. Patricia Soh-Khim Ong, National University of Singapore on “Use of Augmented Reality in Design and Manufacturing”

The Fraunhofer IWU and the Chair of Machine Tools and forming techniques organized a conference on virtual and augmented reality in Chemnitz from January 31st to February 1st 2013. The VAR2-Conference focused on new research for “extending reality”. Session topics included virtual engineering, interaction in virtual scenes, trends and potentials of augmented reality and data management for VR/AR application. Benny Liebold and Daniel Pietschmann from Crossworlds presented a research poster and a short paper titled “Explaining User Experience in Stereoscopic IVEs via Spatial Mapping in Mental Interaction Models: Prototype of a Multi-User-Interaction VR” at the conference.


ECREA 4th European Communication Conference 2012

Opening Keynote at 4th ECC ECREA 2012 in Istanbul

The 4th ECC conference of ECREA, the European Communication Research Association, was located in Instanbul. It provided a perfect platform to meet and discuss profound transformations that are taking place globally in modern societies. While social media was the particular focus at this years conference, contemporary topics were encouraged, regarding the old and the new within the European communicative sphere. Graduate Members Benny Liebold and Daniel Pietschmann visited Istanbul and engaged in discussions about new theoretical research and empirical studies presented at the conference. Each thematic section and temporary working group of ECREA hosted parallel panels at the main conference, including Audience and Reception Studies, Digital Culture and Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction. Both Crossworld colleagues are active members of the TWG Digital Games Research which hosted a preconference prior to the ECC. After one week of networking, fruitful discussions and interesting talks with the European Communication Research Community, both graduates returned with new ideas, contacts and concepts for research cooperations within the field of media psychology and virtual worlds.


Visit to Ars Electronica Center in Linz

Our fellow researchers Michael Heidt and Kalja Kanellopoulos visited the Ars Electronica Center (AEC) in Linz from October 16-17. The AEC unites art, science and technology in many different ways. One of the projects, which made the AEC famous all over the world, is the Ars Electronica Festival. It takes place in Linz every year in September.

The museum’s permanent exhibition introduces the visitor to topics of genetic engineering, robotics, neurology and media art, while the current temporary exhibit “Out of Control” delivers some insight into “What the Web knows about You”. Overall the center’s main focus lies on interactivity and participation and one cannot avoid the impression to visit a huge playground. Whether old or young, people seem to love it and while exploring deep space, interacting with little robots, or doing scientific experiments – supported by the museum’s accommodating staff members – they learn while playing. Next to the wide-ranging exhibition space one can find the Ars Electronica FutureLab, the center’s think tank, consisting of 50-60 research staff members. In addition to exploring the exhibition our two fellow researchers had a meeting with Michael Badics, one of the directors of Ars Electronica Solutions.


Bernstein Conference Computational Neuroscience 2012

The Bernstein Conference Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) is the largest European conference in Computational Neuroscience. This year the conference was hosted by the Bernstein Center Munich (September 12-14). It was filled with three days of stimulating presentations of international top researchers from MIT, Harvard, UCL, Stanford, or MPI, giving insights in their newest brain research and modeling. The conference provided the opportunity to present new research approaches and results in two poster sessions in the evening.

Beside the interesting contributions of many other researchers all over the world the CrossWorlds member Michael Teichmann presented its well frequented poster to “Learning invariance in object recognition”. The poster reviews his current work and gives an insight how models of the visual system could be designed and trained to obtain human-like recognition and processing abilities. The poster abstract is published in the conference proceedings by Frontiers of Computational Neuroscience (Abstract)


Student Symposium at the Department of Computer Science

This year the first Student Symposium of the Department of Computer Science was held at Chemnitz University of Technology on July 4th 2012. It was an overwhelming success, as many undergraduate and graduate students contributed and raised it to an very successful event. The symposium provided students the opportunity to present their latest research including their thesis or their PhD project. The contributions could be in form of posters, short or full papers. Each contribution was subjected to a peer-review process to guarantee its quality.

The CrossWorlds member Michael Teichmann took this opportunity to present his current research as a short paper. In his contribution he brought the functioning of the human visual cortex together with methods of designing object recognition systems. For the interdisciplinary character of his paper and his presentation Michael Teichmann has been awarded a honorable mention. Read the rest of this entry »


CrossWorlds presented research at German Society for Sociology Conference

The biennial conference of the German Society for Sociology (DGS) with the 2012 headline “Diversity and Coherence” was held during the first week of October at the Ruhr University Bochum. More than 2.100 participants listened to featured lectures, discussed in plenary meetings or learned about recent research in self organized ad hoc groups.  CrossWorlds collegiates Kalja Kanellopoulos and Andreas Bischof attended the conference. Andreas presented findings of his Master Thesis (published OpenAccess here) as part of the group “Virtual Worlds: Between Euphoria and Pathologisation – Sociological Approaches and empirical Analyses“. Read the rest of this entry »


9. Workshop Virtuelle und Erweiterte Realität 2012 (9th Workshop Virtual and Augmented Reality 2012)

The 9th Workshop for Virtual and Augmented Reality from September 19 to 20 in Düsseldorf was an opportunity for young academics of that research field to publish their findings and get to know scientists with similar interests. The collegiate Vincent Küszter presented his paper “Erweiterung des Position-Based-Dynamic-Verfahrens für die Kollisionsbehandlung für Kleidung an animierten Menschmodellen” (Expansion to Position Based Dynamics to improve Collisions for Clothin and Virtual Humans) in a talk at the workshop.

Many attendees were showing gesture based or touch interfaces, which synergizes with our research at CrossWorlds. Socializing with the other scientists was not only possible between the presentations or demo sessions, but also at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, where the attendees took a guided tour.


CrossWorlds goes Social Media

For more news and activities from the CrossWorlds team, you can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter. While this website will cover most of the news regarding our research activities, we will use social media for more broader and informal news.


CrossWorlds switches to English

The CrossWorlds initiators and doctoral candidates decided to revise this website to use English as main language instead of German. This way, we hope to broaden our audience and keep our international colleagues up to date with this website, too. So we will switch to English effective immediately, beginning with the news. The rest of the website will be translated in the coming weeks.