The thought, life and work of Ludwik Fleck are currently enjoying a marked rise in interest, as documented in a variety of recently published new editions of his writings, editions on the verge of appearing or in preparation, and numerous specialist publications on his work. The Ludwik Fleck Center promotes the exchange of information and opinion among those involved in such activities in various countries (such as Germany, France, Austria, Poland and Switzerland) and in a range of institutional contexts in which it is involved as cooperating partner.
INTERDISCIPLINARITY – TRANSDISCIPLINARITY
In his accounts of scientific practice Fleck referred repeatedly to the transformations and deformations that inevitably go hand in hand with the exchange of mental contents, whether within communities united by a common discipline, or between disciplines. In the potential for change immanent particularly in “intercollective mental intercourse” Fleck saw not merely a hindrance to the production of knowledge that must under all circumstances be removed, but rather – indeed, first and foremost – a source of new knowledge: for, as Fleck writes in Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache: “This modification in thought style – that is, change in the will to directed perception – makes possible a new potential for discovery and creates new facts.” (1980: 144)
In this vein, the Center has committed itself to the strategic deployment of Fleck’s thought in a programme of transdisciplinary work and for reflection on associated problems. This is primarily the case in research projects at the Collegium Helveticum such as TRACKING THE HUMAN; worthy of mention as well is the Center’s involvement in various inter-university working groups and discussion forums on multilingualism in science and research, including ANTHROPOS and the Network for Transdisciplinary Research. Finally, reflection on transdisciplinary knowledge production was fostered and given further impetus under the aegis of an evaluation of the anniversary project “Sozial-Labor” commissioned from the Ludwik Fleck Center by the Department of Social Work at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHaW) in 2008.