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Developing new approaches to analyse complex problems and sparking conversations between disciplines. That is what Huub Dijstelbloem, professor of Philosophy of Science, Technology and Politics, intends to pursue at the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Amsterdam (IAS). The new scientific director of the IAS has started on September 1. ‘It is an honour to take over the baton from Peter Sloot,’ Dijstelbloem says. ‘What the IAS has established the first five years is truly unique, and I will guard that legacy.’

Huub Dijstelbloem (photo: Kirsten van Santen)

Stay cutting-edge

According to Dijstelbloem, the IAS has to stay as cutting-edge as it has been over the last years. Dijstelbloem: ‘People can come to the institute for something new and to be inspired by others. It is a place where people can have a breakthrough, or can partner up with other researchers in order to pioneer in interdisciplinary fields.’

Unique approach

‘The IAS of the UvA, especially when compared to other University-based Institutes for Advanced Study in Europe, is quite unique,’ Dijstelbloem explains. ‘We have a thematic approach and, besides that, we aim to advance interdisciplinary method development. Those are the foundations that I want to preserve in the coming 5 years.’

The IAS themes are broadly formulated, which allows the new scientific director to intensify cooperation with the social sciences and humanities and to include some additional subjects. ‘Subjects such as climate justice, migration, food systems, and international security and conflicts may become part of the activities of the IAS,’ he concludes.