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Quantitative vs. qualitative methods across sciences - 2017/18

Quantitative vs. qualitative methods across sciences: mutual reinforcement, (un)happy co-existence, or source of schisms?

At a time when in most sciences (including the humanities and social sciences) quantitative methods have come to play a central role, it should be explored which role qualitative methods (still) play in different disciplines, in terms of research questions, trends and schools of research, the publication of research results and, not least, in the training of Master and PhD students. Questions to be addressed by FRIAS fellows and members of FRIAS project groups from a wide range of disciplines include the following:

  • In which disciplines have both types of methods played a role alongside each other for a rather long time, and what consequences has this had on these disciplines?
  • In which disciplines have quantitative methods made inroads largely due to the IT and internet revolutions, and what consequences has this had?
  • Is the relationship between (schools of) researchers primarily or exclusively working with one or the other type of methods one of mutual recognition and support, or rather one of tension, skepticism and, ultimately, rejection?
  • Has the quantitative turn of the last few decades led to new alliances across disciplines, possibly even bridging traditional divides between the natural, life, and behavioral sciences, on the one hand, and the humanities and social sciences, on the other hand?
  • Does this fundamental methodological debate (or, in the worst case, battle) have the power to decide about the future of early-career researchers?



23. November 2017

Unhealthy Habits: Unlearning Methodological Divisions to Enable the Study of Drug-using Social Worlds

Prof. Nancy Campbell (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, History of Science and Technology)


7. December 2017

Mixed methods in interdisciplinary collaborations: A case study in Populations Genetics

Prof. Veronika Lipphardt, University College Freiburg, Science & Technology Studies

Prof. Peter Pfaffelhuber, University of Freiburg, Department of Mathematical Stochastics


15. December 2017

Research in Legal Science

Prof. Dr. Lorena Bachmaier, Complutense University Madrid, Legal Science 


11. January 2018

Reflecting on the quantitative turn in Linguistics

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernd Kortmann, FRIAS Director, University of Freiburg, English Linguistics 


18. January 2018

Life in the marine realm - counting microbes... and what else?

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hess, University of Freiburg, Genetics and Experimental Bioinformatics


25. January 2018

Data Collection and Data Analysis in the Social Sciences

Prof. Dr. Diana Panke, University of Freiburg, Multi-Level Governance 


 8. February 2018

"Mixed methods" in Clinical Psychology - in research and everyday practice

Prof. Dr. Anna Buchheim, University of Innsbruck, Psychology