Dare to know, dare to tell, dare to play

Helga Nowotny


In her concluding statement summarising the discussions and themes presented during the workshops, lectures and concerts of the Aboagora symposium, Helga Nowotny underlines the need for researchers to be courageous and creative as they rethink the Enlightenment heritage in their various fields of research. Researchers today are part of an enormous epochal transformation in science, technology and institution building, she claims. This is a world largely of our own making which provides new opportunities as well as challenges and in which the future cannot be known. Yet, Nowotny points out, we continue with the desire to influence the future and we try to prepare for the encounter with a messy world of enormous complexity, uncertainty and contingency around us. In this situation, she concludes, music can provide science with an important lesson, namely: it is played. Playfulness can provide one possible mode to prepare for the future: by playing one learns to explore and to trust one’s own curiosity. Thus, the Enlightenment is unfinished, but it is also exciting in being unfinished.


Enlightenment; Science; Science and the humanities; Narration; Creativity; Technology

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