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Individual Paper: Against ‘innovation’ and ‘impact': on de-growth and science

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Growth is often equated with the effects of processes in the capitalist economy. It is reduced to measurable economic impact, progress and development. Consequently, operating with these ideologically laden concepts narrows the field of discussion, hindering any serious debate about the future of the human, development, economy and also science, through such conceptual confiscation/conflation. The presentation focuses on the question: What are the implications of growth discourse in science and research.
Leaving aside the ‘economistic’ aspect to see growth through a more ‘humanistic’ perspective, opens the question what does the concept of growth/progress mean for the human/humankind. Specifically, what does it mean for social systems that ‘produce’ knowledge? This conceptual conflation not only limits the field but pushes into the periphery any alternative thinking, while at the same time pushes towards an unproductive confrontation or faux-conflict. Departing from this context, the authors problematize the concepts of growth, Degrowth and regrowth in relation to the field of science. Doing so they question the discourse of impact and innovation that radically defines and structures the field of research today. This discourse is here problematized as a tool of political and economic propaganda and control that eventually limits qualitative development of science and research emphasising instead quantification of knowledge. Building on this, the presentation finally critically probes the ways digital ecology can be thought of and set up to serve the multi- and interdisciplinary quest for and exchange of ideas and knowledge, as well as their incorporation into wider structures. How, then, can we humanise science and how do we reintroduce wonder?


Day: 2018-08-23
Start time: 11:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF (206)
Track: The Pluriverse: Articulating alternatives to development



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