The opening conference of the ZiF: Research Group Science in the Context of Application took place on October 26 - 28. It centered on the issue of transformations in academic research. The question pursued was whether the institutional conditions for or the epistemic characteristics of the production of scientific knowledge have changed recently. The conference gathered an international and interdisciplinary spectrum of speakers who attemped to draw a map of the landscape of research on these questions. The contributions and partly controversial discussions provided the research group with a good starting point for its interdisciplinary research agenda.