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Upcoming events

List of upcoming DIAS events:


Exercise as Medicine and the role of myokines: a translational perspective

Physical activity decreases the risk of a network of diseases, and exercise may be prescribed as medicine for lifestyle-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. During the past couple of decades, it has been apparent that skeletal muscle works as an endocrine organ, which can produce and secrete hundreds of myokines that exert their effects in either autocrine, paracrine, or endocrine manners. Recent advances show that skeletal muscle produces myokines in response to exercise, which allow for crosstalk between the muscle and other organs, including brain, adipose tissue, bone, liver, gut, pancreas, vascular bed, and skin, as well as communication within the muscle itself. Although only few myokines have been allocated to a specific function in humans, it has been identified that the biological roles of myokines include effects on, for example, cognition, lipid and glucose metabolism, browning of white fat, bone formation, endothelial cell function, hypertrophy, skin structure, and tumor growth. This suggests that myokines may be useful biomarkers for monitoring exercise prescription for people with, for example, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative diseases.


Applied Phenomenology - From Philosophy to the Human Sciences and Back Again

Phenomenology is often characterized as a study of the essential or universal structures of experience and subjectivity, such as selfhood, embodiment, affectivity, and temporality. In this respect, phenomenology continues the philosophical tradition of being concerned with universal truths, rather than with contingent or particular facts of life. However, researchers working across a variety of disciplines have found inspiration and guidance from phenomenology and have developed ways of using this approach to study particular groups and populations. Such applications have been developed in anthropology, sociology, education, psychiatry, the cognitive sciences, nursing, and sports science, among other fields. In this presentation, I discuss some of the challenges of doing this kind of interdisciplinary research, focusing on how philosophical phenomenology can productively inform research across the human sciences and how empirical studies in the human sciences can reciprocally inform philosophical phenomenology.  


Be curious – do our health intervention against COVID-19 work as intended?

COVID-19 was an unknown enemy. It is a particularly harmful enemy if we do not learn from the encounter. We can do that with a new gaze on randomised trials.
Do face masks protect against COVID-19 or are they just a nuisance to the wearer and to the environment? Is testing and contract tracing an important part of Denmark's toolbox or have we spent 2 billion DKK a month on something that did not change the course of the pandemic – but merely brought people into queues and into isolation? Are vaccines a “super weapon”, or can they harm some more than they benefit? These are just a few of the questions we still do not know the answer to.


The human sciences in the Anthropocene

Humans have long inquired about our place in nature. But is this question still meaningful? Geologists propose that we have entered the Anthropocene, an epoch in which life processes on our planet are everywhere decisively influenced by human activity. From microplastics that enter animal bodies to the particle composition of the atmosphere, life on planet Earth is everywhere under human influence.

What does this mean for the human sciences? Since the Enlightenment, the rational individual has been the sovereign subject of the human sciences. However, the major challenges of our time require us to seek cooperative solutions. Living within the boundaries of the Earth system requires a human science built on a foundation of sustainable community instead of competitive individualism. The Anthropocene presents an opportunity to rethink our relation to our planet, and to each other.

This lecture is part of the DIAS Mind Group. Learn more here


The development of clinical ethics support in Norwegian health care

Modern health care faces numerous ethical dilemmas. Clinical ethics support services have been developed in many countries in the last decades. In 2021 the Norwegian parliament made clinical ethics committees in health care mandatory by law, probably as the first country in the world. In this lecture I will present the development of clinical ethics support in Norway the last 25 years leading up to this law. This will include a brief presentation of the main clinical ethical challenges in the Norwegian health care services the last decades, key measures taken to deal with these ethical challenges, the role of Centre for medical ethics at the University of Oslo, and important future tasks for the field of clinical ethics.


History of Capitalism: Globalization and Varieties of Backlash

Professor of Economics at NYU Abu Dhab


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Our Human Planet: co-evolution of human society and its environmental impact

Meteorites, mega-volcanoes, plate tectonics and now human beings; the old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago are joined by another: us. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet's 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth's future.

To some the Anthropocene symbolises a future of superlative control of our environment. To others it is the height of hubris, the illusion of our mastery over nature. Whatever your view, just below the surface of this odd-sounding scientific word, the Anthropocene, is a heady mix of science, philosophy, religion and politics linked to our deepest fears and utopian visions. Prof. Mark Maslin traces the co-evolution of human society and its environmental impact revealing when and why humans began to dominate the Earth and shows us what the new epoch means for all of us.

This lecture is part of the DIAS Mind Group. Learn more here


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PhD (LSE) Professor Pieter Vanhuysse is a Full Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Management and the Danish Centre for Welfare Studies (DaWS) at SDU.

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