The cultural sciences research training group “Cultures of Critique” undertakes a productive revision of the preconditions, roles and validity claims of critique. On the one hand, new technologies and distribution channels have given rise to a welter of unexpected critical and quasi-critical practices. On the other hand, the very theoretical foundations of critique have come under massive pressure – and so, it seems, has the modern project of critique as a whole. What may be regarded as an act of critique and which agents, expectations and criteria take part, is currently subject to basal negotiation.

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Computer simulations have revolutionised the sciences. Their impact left a mark in nearly every possible field of study – from microbiology, to climate research, and even astrophysics. What new kinds of knowledge arise through computer simulations? How do they change our understanding of the sciences?
 At the Institute of Advanced Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), we set out to find answers to these broad questions. We seek to accomplish this in diverse ways: by analysing historical and contemporary case studies , by building an interdisciplinary network of international fellows , and by organising trans-disciplinary lectures, workshops, and conferences . In an age of computer simulations, MECS is one of the few institutions worldwide specifically focused on understanding their wide-ranging impacts.