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Philosophy department at the PLUS receives Cluster of Excellence award for 2023

Philosopher Charlotte Werndl from the Paris Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS) has successfully participated in the Cluster of Excellence 2023, part of the Austrian Excellence Initiative excellent=austria. The PLUS Rectorate congratulates her and is delighted that the leading researcher has been awarded funding for a cutting-edge project.

Geoinformatics expert Thomas Blaschke also competed among the 11 best projects. The PLUS would also like to congratulate Professor Blaschke. The five projects selected for the Cluster of Excellence are among Austria’s future beacons of fundamental research.

University Professor Charlotte Werndl from the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences, will receive funding for the project Die Krise des Wissens verstehen und überwinden (“Understanding and Overcoming the Crisis of Knowledge”). The lead partner is the Central European University, the University of Graz, PLUS and University of Vienna are also involved. This cluster of excellence will receive a total of 8.9 million euros in funding. Bettina Bussmann, Julien Murzi and Patricia Palacios, also from the Department of Philosophy, are also working on the research project.

Knowledge in crisis

Today we are facing a crisis of knowledge. Our knowledge claims are threatened by rapid and spectacular technological developments and by the questioning of the notion of knowledge and truth. The flood of information on the internet tests our ability to distinguish truth from lies. The rejection of scientific standards and expertise is growing. This crisis raises profound philosophical questions about knowledge, truth, science, ethics and politics, and ultimately about our relationship with reality itself. These questions are explored by the Cluster of Excellence in completely new ways, seeking to understand the knowledge crisis in all its facets and to find ways to combat it and rethink our attitude towards knowledge.

“This cluster of excellence addresses fundamental questions of knowledge; many of them have deep social, ethical and political relevance. Different philosophical fields that otherwise work independently of each other have been brought together. This is an unprecedented approach to philosophical research,” emphasises Tim Crane, Director of Research at Central European University.

In 2022, an international jury evaluated 35 concept proposals submitted in the CoE call and invited 11 cooperative teams to submit full proposals. In the third and final round of the decision-making process, a PLUS research project has now been selected for funding for five (plus five) years. A Cluster of Excellence is characterised by the successful combination of cutting-edge research, research-led education and promotion of young researchers, as well as the national and international exchange of knowledge. The decision on the Clusters of Excellence 2023 was announced by Martin Polaschek, Minister of Science, and Christof Gattringer, President of the FWF, in Vienna on 13 March 2023.

Photo: Kolarik

Univ.-Prof. MMag. Charlotte Werndl, PhD
Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Social Sciences

Tel.: +43 662 8044 4081

Charlotte Werndl

Hofrätin Mag. Gabriele Pfeifer

Head of Department

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg | Communication and Fundraising

Kapitelgasse 4-6 | A-5020 Salzburg

Tel: +43 662 8044 2024

Email to Hofrätin Mag. Gabriele Pfeifer

Photo: © Kolarik