DIAS X SCC Wednesday lecture: Professor Bron Taylor - Spirituality & the Climate Crisis:
Guest lecture by Bron Taylor, Professor of Religion, Nature and Environmental Ethics at The University of Florida Spirituality & the Climate Crisis: Assessing environmental behavior from the world's predominant religions to ‘Dark Green Religion’ Negative, anthropogenic climate change has been accelerating – harming humans, disrupting the climate system, eroding biodiversity, and some aver, portending an apocalyptic end of the world. Some scholars blame religions, or some of them, for promoting environmentally destructive attitudes and behaviors. Others aver that religions are beginning to, or might, come to the environmental rescue. Still others contend that indigenous traditions, or secular worldviews, or newly invented forms of religious naturalism, provide proenvironmental alternatives that, especially if they continue to gain cultural traction, could precipitate the cultural transformations necessary to avert the collapse of today’s socioecological systems (including civilization as we know it). Drawing on a comprehensive review of extant research and my research exploring contemporary nature spiritualities, I will analyze the extant data and trends and conclude by speculating on the future of religion and nature, near, medium, and long-term. About: Bron Taylor is an interdisciplinary environmental studies scholar whose research and writing explores, through the lenses of the sciences and humanities, the complex relationships between religion, ecology, ethics, and the quest for sustainability. His books include Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future (2010), Avatar and Nature Spirituality (2013), and Ecological Resistance Movements (1995). He is also editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005) and the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. Taylor is Professor of Religion and Nature at the University of Florida and a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany, and at the Leibniz Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, Germany. In 2017 he was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture. See also www.brontaylor.com The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias The lecture is a collaboration between the Danish Institute for Advanced Study, SDU Climate Cluster, and the Environmental Humanities Network, The Study of Religion, the Department of Language, Culture, History and Communication, the Department of Business and Management.
DIAS Nobel Colloquium: Morten Meldal, Danish Nobel Prize-Winner
Molecular Click Adventures. A Leap from the Shoulders of Giants. Abstract: The concept of click chemistry matured simultaneously in different laboratories around the world in the 1990’s. There was an urgent need for quantitative chemical reactions/molecular LEGO® to cope with the pressure from combinatorial science to synthesize, screen and identify one out of thousands – millions of compounds. During investigations of combined Peptide diversity, we more or less serendipitously discovered the CuAAC click reaction in 2001. The mechanism of the reaction will be discussed and its application in a variety of studies involving immobilization, mimicry, structural control and protein ligation will be presented. The more existential aspects of our fundamental understanding of chemistry, the importance of serendipity, and our pledge to the young to study chemistry for a better future, will also be discussed. Register here: https://www.conferencemanager.dk/meldal Morten Meldal, Professor in chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022. He was awarded jointly with Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless "for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry". Chemists strive to build increasingly complicated molecules. For a long time, this has been very time consuming and expensive. Click chemistry means that molecular building blocks snap together quickly and efficiently. In 2002, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless, independently of each other, developed an elegant and efficient chemical reaction: the copper catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition. This is now in widespread use and is utilised in the development of pharmaceuticals, for mapping DNA and creating new materials. Photo: Lars Krabbe
DIAS Lecture: Interactive robots - Status, Problems and Perspectives
Professor Norbert Krüger, The Faculty of Engineering, The Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute, SDU Robotics, and DIAS Chair of Engineering Interactive robots: Status, Problems and Perspectives Industrial Robots have transformed our society since the 1960ths by being able to perform repetitive movements with high precision, speed and strength. By that, a large amount of straining and monotonous work that before had been performed by human workers could be replaced. The application areas of robots could be further extended by the introduction of sensors such as cameras: Today also flexible and brittle objects that show a significant variation in shape (such as vegetables, meat, or fabrics) can be processed by robots. In addition, by simplifying robots programming – which was one of the reasons for the worldwide success of Universal Robot – in the last decade also more and more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been enabled to apply robots in their production. In addition to industrial robots, also mobile robots have been applied within production and warehouses and nowadays even appear in public spaces. However, in case there is an unforeseen situation such as a potential collision with a person, these robots tend to just stop instead of going into an interaction with the human to resolve the situation. If we were able to model satisfying interactions and dialogues with humans, robots could play an even larger role in our society by assisting humans, for example in areas where hands are urgently needed such as elderly care. However, the image presented by the media about what such assistive robots can do does not match reality. In my talk, I will first give a short overview of the history of robotics and the transformational effects they triggered and will then share some insights into the state of art of robots that already today are able to operate in public spaces. The question “What makes human-robot-interaction such a hard problem?” will then be the focus of my talk. At the end, I dare to speculate about assistive robots in the near and far future. About: Norbert Krüger is Full Professor and new DIAS Chair of Engineering. He has been employed at the University of Southern Denmark since 2006. Since having finalized his Master’s in mathematics and philosophy in 1993, Norbert Krüger has established an interdisciplinary research and teaching profile at five universities in three different countries. His research focuses on industrial robotics, machine learning and human-robot-interaction. Norbert Krüger has also been working in core industrial robotics. In that context, he coordinated two EU projects as well as a Danish national project ReRoPro. His main scientific focus was on the learning of gripper structures for industrial applications by simulation and optimization. Today, this approach is used in the I4.0 lab at SDU. From 2012 onwards, Norbert Krüger supported the development of the Welfare Robotics Group at SDU Robotics. The lecture takes place in the DIAS Seminar Room, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed.
DIAS x DDC: The Polarizing Effect of Partisan Echo Chambers
Guest lecture by Sara Hobolt, Sutherland Chair and Professor in the Department of Government, London School of Economics and author of “Political Entrepreneurs” The Polarizing Effect of Partisan Echo Chambers We are witnessing increasing partisan polarization across the world. It is often argued that partisan ‘echo chambers’ are one of the drivers of both policy and affective polarization. In this paper, we develop and test the argument that the political homogeneity of people’s social environment shapes polarization. Using an innovative, large-scale pre-registered ‘lab-in-the-field’ experiment, fielded in the UK, we examine how polarization is influenced by partisan group homogeneity. We recruit nationally-representative partisans and assign them to discuss a salient policy issue, either with like-minded partisans (an echo chamber) or in a mixed partisan group. This allows us to examine how group composition affects polarization. In line with our expectations, we find that partisan echo chambers increase both policy and affective polarization compared to mixed discussion groups. This has important implications for our understanding of the drivers of polarization and for how outgroup animosity might be ameliorated in the mass public. The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias The lecture is a collaboration between the Danish Institute for Advanced Study and the Digital Democracy Center (DDC)
DIAS Guest Lecture: Gender Justice for Global Health: what, why, how?
Sarah Hawkes, Professor of Global Public Health at University College London, UK Invited and presented by DIAS Fellow Angela Y. Chang Gender Justice for Global Health: what, why, how? ‘Gender’ is a politically charged term, capable of sewing divisions across generations and geographies, and contested by overt and well-funded ‘anti-gender’ movements around the world. Yet, gender is also widely misunderstood – frequently confused with ‘sex’ and often used as shorthand for ‘women and girls’. In this talk I will argue that, at its core, gender represents the distribution of power – within interpersonal relationships as well as across the systems and structures of every society. What does such an understanding of gender mean for health and wellbeing? How do we interpret and analyse the impact of gender power relations on people’s likelihood of living a healthy life? In this talk I will explore the historical and political origins of gender in gender global health and analyse current institutional and organisational responses to gender within the global health eco-system. The talk will focus on showing how a more comprehensive understanding of gender, based on notions of justice, within the field of global health can be used to leverage gains in everyone’s health and wellbeing. About: Sarah Hawkes is a medical doctor with a degree in sociology and a PhD in epidemiology. She is Professor of Global Public Health at University College London, UK, where she leads a research theme analysing the use of research evidence in policy processes, particularly in relation to gender and health equity. Sarah is co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health , and co-Director and co-founder of Global Health 50/50 which advances action and accountability for gender equality in global health. She has lived and worked for much of the past 30 years in Asia (South, East and West), where she has gathered evidence, collaborated to strengthen capacity, and operated at the interface of policy and research communities – working alongside national Governments, UN agencies and civil society organisations promoting gender equality, health equity and human rights in health policies and programmes. The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias
Information meeting: 12th Application Round for New Centers of Excellence – the call is out
The Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) has just published the call for the 12th Center of Excellence (CoE) application round and with approx. DKK 1.2 billion to support cutting-edge research in all scientific disciplines. The application deadline for expressions of interest is 4 December. In this connection an information meeting on 27. April 09:00 – 10:00 is scheduled. DNRF CEO Søren-Peter Olesen will visit SDU to inform about the Center of Excellence instrument and the process for the 12th application round. The meeting is open to anyone interested. More information here: https://dg.dk/en/12th-application-round-for-new-centers-of-excellence-the-call-is-out/ Agenda (tentative): 09:00 welcome by “Meeting Chair” Prof. Don Canfield (Nordcee – previous CoE) 09:05: Information session by Prof. Søren-Peter Olesen (DNRF) 09:20: Q&A 09:35: The bumpy road to a DNRF Center of Excellence (POLIMA)- Prof. Asger Mortensen (Polima – ongoing CoE) 09:50 Q&A 10:00 closing
DIAS Guest Lecture: Towards a Post-Capitalist Consumption Paradigm
Guest lecture by Eric Arnould, Professor Emeritus of Marketing at Aalto University Business School, founding figure of Consumer Culture Theory and globally acknowledged anthropologist of market and consumption studies Towards a Post-Capitalist Consumption Paradigm: Neo-Animist Lines of Flight Well-intentioned, reformist interventions like green consumerism or the sharing economy have taught us about the challenges in facing the ecological crisis. However, the ecological crisis worsens, and the limitations of neoliberal reformist approaches are documented. Rather than continue to feed the dominant neoliberal paradigm by exhorting or nudging consumers to consume “green,” share or abstain, I argue for a new, neo-animist inspired consumption paradigm. This paradigm reimagines the relationships between humanity and the rest of the biome. I thus reconsider the circulation of resources and their integration in neo-animist, value cocreating consumption practices in terms of gifting, reciprocal redistribution, and predatory symbiosis. We identify prefigurative examples of these practices. Neo-animist ontology can help de-fetishize consumption and relativize the role of markets in a more resilient, respectful, and resource enhancing eco-economy. I propose directions for further research based on these principles and practices to encourage research to shift toward a neo-animist consumption paradigm. The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it online at youtube.com/@danish-ias
DIAS Nobel Colloquium: Stefan Hell, Director of Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and Max Planck Institute for Medical Research
Nobel Colloquium at DIAS We are looking forward to welcoming Stefan Hell, director at both the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Göttingen and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study. In 2014 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy. He is credited with having conceived, validated and applied the first viable concept for overcoming Abbe’s diffraction-limited resolution barrier in a light-focusing fluorescence microscope. For this accomplishment he has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Stefan Hell received his doctorate (1990) in physics from the University of Heidelberg. From 1991 to 1993 he worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, followed by stays as a senior researcher at the University of Turku, Finland, between 1993 and 1996, and as a visiting scientist at the University of Oxford, England, in 1994. In 1997 he was appointed to the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry (named Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences since 2022) in Göttingen as a group leader, and was promoted to director in 2002. From 2003 to 2017 he also led a research group at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Hell holds honorary professorships in physics at the Universities of Heidelberg and Göttingen. Read more about Stefan W. Hell here and here Read more about Stefan Hell Labs here More information to come... The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias
DIAS Guest Lecture: The Human Quest for Patterns and Principles
DIAS Guest lecture by Rens Bod, Professor of Digital Humanities and History of Humanities, University of Amsterdam Invited and presented by DIAS Chair of Humanities Anders Engberg-Pedersen The Human Quest for Patterns and Principles: Toward a Global History of Humanities and Science About: Rens Bod is professor of Digital Humanities and History of Humanities, director of the Center for Digital Humanities and director of the Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences. He investigates the humanities from both computational and historical perspectives. He currently serves as president of the Society for the History of the Humanities, and is a member of Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities (“Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen”) and of the Society for the Dutch Letters (“Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde”). He is also the founder of WOinActie, an action group that aims at achieving appropriate funding for Dutch universities. Bod is the author of the first historical overview of the humanities from Antiquity to the present: A New History of the Humanities (translated from the Dutch "De Vergeten Wetenschappen"). The book has appeared in 7 translations, and was voted as best science book of 2011 by Kennislink and as one of the 25 books on science you "must have read" by NRC Handelsblad. The book has been reviewed by over 45 journals and newspapers and is acclaimed as "an extraordinarily ambitious undertaking ... the first ever history of its kind" (Times Literary Supplement) and "Bod takes the humanities back to their rightful place in the family tree of science." Recently, Rens Bod has also published a monograph on the general history of knowledge disciplines, entitled Een Wereld Vol Patronen: De Geschiedenis van Kennis ("A World of Patterns: The History of Knowledge"), which explores the search for patterns and underlying principles in 20 disciplines from 5 continents across the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. The book will soon appear in English. Bod's computational work covers natural language processing, computational musicology, digital aesthetics and computational literary studies. In the field of digital humanities, he coordinates several public-private partnerships in the humanities. He is one of the main architects of the Data-Oriented Parsing model, a general machine learning technique that creates rule-like behavior without rules, and which has been applied to language, music, vision and reasoning. He was a recipient of an advanced research fellowship (UK), a personal academy fellowship (KNAW), a personal VIDI fellowship and a personal VICI fellowship (1.25 MEuro, NWO). His historical work focuses on the comparative history of knowledge-making disciplines from a world-wide perspective. He is a founding editor of the journal History of Humanities and the initiator of the conference series The Making of the Humanities. His books include Beyond Grammar (1998), Probabilistic Linguistics (2003), Data-Oriented Parsing (2003) and De Vergeten Wetenschappen (The Forgotten Sciences) (2010), and he co-edited three volumes on the comparative history of the humanities, The Making of the Humanities I, II and III (2010, 2012, 2014). His recent monographs are A New History of the Humanities: The Search for Principles and Patterns from Antiquity to the Present (OUP, 2013) and A World of Patterns: The History of Knowledge (Prometheus, 2019). The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias
DIAS Lecture: Anticipating Governance in the Coming Multi-Order World
Trine Flockhart, Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at SDU and DIAS Chair of Business and Social Sciences Anticipating Governance in the Coming Multi-Order World (AGMOW) The talk will outline a project with support from DFF, which will investigate the challenges and opportunities for governance within a global rules-based order that is deeply contested, and which is in a process of accelerating transformation. Transformation in the international system is always a major event that is usually accompanied with uncertainty, political turbulence and a heightened risk of war – yet the processes and underlying courses of order transformation are not well understood within the International Relations discipline. AGMOW will investigate the process of transformation and the character and development of existing or emerging international orders and new ordering practices in three urgent governance challenges: autonomous weapons, global health & climate change. The project will assess the prospects for a new form of global governance, suitable for the coming multi-order world and will use foresight methods to build scenarios for governance within the new context. About: Trine Flockhart is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science at SDU and DIAS Chair of Business and Social Sciences. Before joining SDU, Professor Trine Flockhart’s more recent appointments include: Professor of International Relations and Director of Research in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent; Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS); Senior Resident Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy (German Marshall Fund) in Washington DC. She is the editor of Liberal World Orders (edited with Tim Dunne published with Oxford University Press, 2013). Professor Trine Flockhart is currently working on developing a new theoretical framework for understanding transformation of order(s). Her research focuses on international order, NATO, European Security, the liberal international order (and its crisis), transatlantic relations, and major processes of change and transformation. For more information about Professor Trine Flockhart, please refer to the SDU Research Portal. The lecture takes place in the Seminar Room, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed.
DIAS X FNUG Wednesday lecture: Can there be a (mathematically-grounded) “physics” of learning?
Inaugural lecture by Mathematician Keith Devlin, Stanford University Can there be a (mathematically-grounded) “physics” of learning? Technically, modern physics is a precisely defined model of the “physical” world and universe we live in – as perceived by our minds, augmented by various observational technologies and measurement devices. As such, it has proved enormously successful not only in increasing dramatically our understanding of the universe we live in, including what we are made of and how it works, but also in construction-, civil-, mechanical-, automotive-, aerospace- and electrical-engineering, resulting in we humans living our lives in a manner totally unlike any other creatures on Earth. Chemistry performs a similar model to support biology, medicine, and pharmacology. Can there be an analogous model that provides a framework for the social and psychological domains, including learning and education? The lecture takes place in the DIAS Auditorium, Fioniavej 34. Everybody is welcome and no registration is needed. Live stream it at youtube.com/@danish-ias
DIAS Guest Lecture by Marius Busemeyer
Invited and presented by DIAS Senior Fellow Pieter Vanhuysse More information to come.
DIAS Guest Lecture by Marie Louise Nosch
More information to come.
DIAS Guest Lecture by Jan Vogler
Invited and presented by DIAS Fellow Lasse Aaskoven. More information to come.