An open laboratory for social and cultural anthropological as well as interdisciplinary scientific, environmental, medical and technological research

The concept of NatureCultures or "nature(s)cultures" questions the separation between nature and culture – a separation inaugurated by Western modernity - and proposes ways of thinking beyond these divisions. As we analyze "hybrid", "techno-scientific" entities such as cloned sheep, frozen embryos or fever detectors at international airports, we also develop new research programs that combine approaches from very different disciplines and fields.

Social problems of great urgency - from climate change and the fight against global epidemics to questions of ecologically responsible economic activity or the future of the oceans - are clearly located at the intersection of culture and nature. These problems emphatically demand that the cultural and social sciences rethink their approach to humans, the environment and other living beings. It also demands a move away from anthropocentrism and for a constructive role in shaping human and more-than-human coexistences today and in the future. The NatureCultures research approach focuses not only on new (bio)technological developments as a decisive driver of the proliferation of quasi-natural objects, but also examines phenomena of mixing and material-semiotic practices in all areas at the NatureCultures interface.

Up to this point, research into NatureCultures has mainly been carried out in Anglo-America. The Bremen NatureCultures Lab aims to anchor this research perspective at the University of Bremen. Since the summer semester of 2014, current work from social and cultural anthropology/ethnology, science and technology studies, human and cultural geography and related fields has been jointly discussed in an open research workshop setting. The aim is to develop collaborative research perspectives and innovative questions in the field of NatureCultures by exploring "multi-species ethnography" or "multinatural geographies," among other things.