UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM CONSULTING GROUP
The Institutes of Advanced Studies at University of Birmingham and Nanyang Technological University Singapore are part of a network of IAS's across the world - UBIAS. One of the most successful initiatives developed between the members of this group is the Intercontinental Academia (ICA) where scientific exchange between generations, disciplines, cultures and continents takes place around a topic or theme.
The proposal to create the Intercontinental Academia was accepted at the meeting of the Steering Committee of UBIAS held in March 2012 at the Institute for Advanced Study Jawaharlal Nehru, in New Delhi, India. The initial idea was of the then director of the IAS Israel, Eliezer Rabinovici. The IEA-USP and the IAR (Institute for Advanced Research) of the Nagoya University felt motivated by the insight of the Israeli scientist and decided to be behind the pilot project for this initiative, which operated as a joint venture.
The academia is based around two intensive workshops held on different continents which provide space for learning about the inward perspective of each subject, performing a comparative analysis of the panorama and searching for correlations among these different views and perspectives.
The scholars are guided during these workshops by an array of mentors who are themselves some of the most outstanding disciplinary and interdisciplinary researchers of our time. Within the programme, the scholars will have the space to help to define the precise workshop structure and the outputs from the project (example: a book is envisaged).
Laws: Rigidity and Dynamics has been selected to provide a forum and framework for the intellectual exchange. The concept of laws has different meanings in different settings, cultures and to individuals. Yet 'laws' are common from Medicine to Linguistics, Chemistry to Music, History to Physics, Psychology to Economics, Engineering to Theatre and beyond.
This rich theme demands reflection, analysis and comparison, to elucidate the origins of laws and tensions among them: When and why are they formed? When and why are they broken? How is that common, or different, across disciplines and why? Whether examining laws devised by humans, natural laws or the evolution of theory emerging from chaos and complexity into laws, there is potential for intense interactions between the disciplines and insight arising from that.