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Happy Summer from Danish IAS

July 5, 2017

Dear Danish IAS friends,

We have witnessed a major leap forward in the past academic year, in the process of creating a Danish home for world-class research.

The Danish Institute for Advanced Study started as an idea in the early 2011. Since then, we have patiently navigated barriers and initiated agency for Danish IAS, leading to our official launch on September 23rd, 2016.

Right from the opening, Danish IAS events, known as “Ideas” and “Lectures”, took place every week, bringing together a full house of attendees with backgrounds ranging from medieval studies to theoretical physics. Researchers from The University of Southern Denmark and other universities presented their research – topics of which covered a variety of areas. To give you a taste of the events we mention a few:

  • Professor Christine Stabell Benn from Health Sciences talked about vaccines, in a presentation that not only informed us about the cross-effects of pathogens on the immune system but also arose emotions among the audience.
  • Associate Professor at CP3 and member of The Young Academy of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Mads Toudal Frandsen talked about “The Naturalness of Nature”, describing the concept of naturalness in physics and its use in constructing a model of Nature beyond the standard model.
  • Professor and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Peter Gärdenfors, University of Lund, took the audience to the Social Sciences arena, discussing the cognitive theory of events and the relation between the event model, and causation and physics.
  • Professor Lars Boje Mortensen from the Centre of Excellence, Centre for Medieval Literature (CML), talked about the literary sociology of the middle ages, arguing that the interplay between forms of social organization and the impact of an expanding book-culture has been overlooked in historical and literary studies.
  • From the Faculty of Engineering, Danish IAS Chair, Professor Sergey l. Bozhevolnyi introduced a considerable number of the audience to quantum plasmonics: enabling ultimate miniaturization of photonic components for quantum optics when taken to extreme limits in light-matter interactions. You, most probably, should have been there!

Altogether, throughout the fall semester of 2016 and the spring semester of 2017, we featured 29 high-profile guest speakers and numerous curious attendees.

Danish IAS enjoyed the first call for Assistant Professors with job openings across all faculties. We were fortunate to receive approximately 250 strong applications. The first Danish IAS Assistant Professors will start this fall and we are very excited to welcome all of them to Danish IAS and SDU.

During the past year, we have concluded collaborating with architects on the design of the new D-IAS house. The core of Danish IAS is to strengthen excellent research by offering particularly privileged conditions – we wish the Danish IAS house to provide an atmosphere that inspires curiosity driven research and intellectual exchange across all disciplinary boundaries.

The word about Danish IAS is spreading fast, and we have received very positive feedback from the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Søren Pind, from the public and private sectors, and from our colleagues at universities across the world.

We are very pleased to announce that the first event in our Colloquia series will be held on September 1st 2017. Samuel Ting, Nobel laureate for discovering subatomic particles (with Burton Richter) will be our first guest. We are already working on our 2nd Colloquium – scheduled for the fall of 2018.

It goes without saying that our ambition is to become a leading institute for advanced study, to the benefit of truly curiosity driven research.

Have a great summer – and thanks for your enthusiasm!

Co-Directors Francesco Sannino & Thorbjørn Knudsen