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Institute of Advanced Study

Transforming The Way We Think

The Institute of Advanced Study is a prestigious, ideas-based Institute bringing together some of the world’s finest researchers from all disciplines to examine themes of major intellectual, scientific, political and practical significance. At least twenty visiting fellows per annum are based in Cosin's Hall, a beautiful 18th Century, Grade 1 listed mansion house, situated on Palace Green (a World Heritage site). They work with Durham scholars to spark new investigations, set tomorrow's agenda and participate in a varied programme of activities.

The Institute also serves as a top-level forum, enabling key-decision makers and experts to discuss pressing policy problems in an intellectually stimulating and unrestricted manner. We put on a wide range of public lectures and other events. There are also opportunities for postgraduates and other early career researchers to get involved.

The IAS aims to build research capacity, realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. There are many ways to participate in the life and work of the institute. We warmly welcome your involvement.


Professor Nicholas Saul (IAS Co-Director) - Brexit Plenary

Professor Nicholas Saul gave the plenary address (on Brexit) and shared in the panel discussion on the theme ‘Visions of a New Europe – New Perspectives from German Romantic Thought around 1800’, a European Union cultural event at the Zentrum der Regionen, Boulevard Saint Michel, Brussels, sponsored by the state of Sachsen-Anhalt/Saxony-Anhalt and the Bertelsmann-Stiftung/Bertelsmann Foundation, 30 November 2016.

(2 Dec 2016)

Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise (DIFeREns) - Recruitment Now Open

The IAS is delighted to confirm that the Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise (DIFeREns) scheme, also known as COFUND, is now open for both Senior and Junior Fellowship recruitment (for academic year 2017/18). Further details about the scheme can be found at:

(4 Nov 2016)

IAS Evidence Fellow Professor Heather Douglas publishes latest article

An article developed by former IAS Fellow Professor Heather Douglas (T.C Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland) during her Fellowship at the IAS has been published.

Douglas, Heather (2016), 'Sexual violence, domestic abuse and the feminist judge', Journal of International and Comparative Law, 3(2), pp. 317-343.

(4 Nov 2016)

Special Issue of Romanticism on the theme of Light

A special issue of the distinguished journal Romanticism has just been published on the theme of ‘Light’. Guest edited by Durham's Dr Sarah Wootton, contributions within this edition were developed out of an IAS sponsored symposium, Light and the Poetics of Ambivalence, organised by Dr Wootton, Professor Michael O’Neill, and Dr Mark Sandy. Inspired by the IAS's theme of Light the symposium focussed on imaginative representations of light in English literature, c. 1790-1950.

(22 Sep 2016)

IAS Conference Review

The IAS’s Decennial conference (July 12th-14th) brought former Fellows and other international visitors to Durham to build on ideas emerging during a year on the theme of Evidence. The first keynote, by Monica Grady, looked outwards into the cosmos for extra-terrestrial life, and concluded that there was no definitive evidence demonstrating its existence. However, she left the door open to finding such evidence, so it may still be that the proof is out there. Penny Harvey’s keynote was more down to earth, and focused on concrete evidence of material vitality through and exploration of… concrete. Panels and roundtables ranged across topics as diverse as evidence for the efficacy of psychotherapeutic analysis; the evidence of sentience in non-human beings and its implications for their use in scientific experiments; the intangible evidence of intangible heritage; and the ways in .which IASs can foster the bringing of evidence together in interdisciplinary collaborations. Details of the panels are available here.

Delegates greatly appreciated the warm welcome from the Vice Chancellor at the conference dinner, which was followed by a definitively uproarious game of Durham Bluff, in which, for the first time in a while, the Home Team managed to beat the Visitors with some exemplary mendacity.

A grande finale to the conference was provided by a public debate, in which lively argumentation swayed a preliminary ‘for’ vote towards a narrow defeat of a provocative motion proposing that this House Believes it is Possible to Apply Universal Standards of Evidence.

Filmmaker Oliver Stone with Dr Ivana Petrovic and Professor Veronica Strang at the Institute of Advanced Study

Interview with Oliver Stone

Interview with Oliver Stone

Views: 482

Short interview clip of Oliver Stone with Professor Veronica Strang.

Academic research goes to Hollywood

On March 10th, leading filmmaker Oliver Stone visited Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study to meet with classicist Dr Ivana Petrovic, whose research, engaging with his depiction of Alexander the Great, was included in his DVD Alexander The Ultimate Cut, released in 2014. He described how he first discovered her work in the debates that followed the release of the first version of Alexander:

For full details of Oliver Stone's visit to Durham including full video coverage of the discussion then please click here.

“Lies, Damned Lies and …”: Is There Such a Thing as Reliable Evidence? Annual IAS London Event 2016
“Lies, Damned Lies and …”: Is There Such a Thing as Reliable Evidence? Annual IAS London Event 2016
Views: 130

King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
Views: 68

‘Finding Common Ground: Negotiating Across Cultures on Peace and Security Issues’ - the annual King Hussein Memorial Lecture in Cultural Dialogue 2016 given by Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA FAIIA.

Monday 5 December 2016

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Friday 9 December 2016

Saturday 10 December 2016

Monday 12 December 2016

Contact Details

Institute of Advanced Study
Durham University
Cosin's Hall
Palace Green
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 2589

Transforming The Way We Think

Transforming the Way We Think is the Institute of Advanced Study's celebrationary book and its decade of interdisciplinarity. Download here.

To request a hard copy of the book please complete this online order form.

2016-17 Annual Programme: Scale

In addition to this programme of events please review the comprehensive Events Calendar for all current details. Additional events may be added during the course of the year.

Contact: if you have any questions. 


VENUE and TIME Change:
Temporal and Spatial Scales in Ancient Astrology Workshop (2 days)
Friday 9th December 2016 2:30pm - 7:00pm
Saturday 10th December 2016 10am - 4:30pm
Will now be held in the Seminar Room, IAS, Palace Green, not the Ritson Room, Department of Classics and Ancient History as previously indicated. (Facilitated by Dr Kathryn Stevens, Durham University).

VENUE Change:
Temporal and Spatial Scales: Scale in Ecological Systems, Past and Present seminar
22nd February 2017 (Professor Chris Thomas - University of York), 12:00 to 14:00
Will now be held in the Turner Room Van Mildert College and not St Mary's College as previously indicated (Professor Chris Thomas - University of York)

Living Scales: Communicating Across Scales: Biophysics and Beyond - The Assembly, Dynamics and Organisation of Filaments and Cellular Responses Workshop (2 days)
20th and 21st March 2017 (Postponed from 9th and 10th January 2017)
Revised Venue - Top Floor, Calman Learning Centre and not IAS Seminar Room as previously indicated (Professor Roy Quinlan and Professor Tom McLeish, Durham University)

Navigating Interdisciplinarity Publication - Revised 2015

'Navigating Interdisciplinarity' is an IAS workshop designed to facilitate research collaboration across disciplines. To assist others embarking upon interdisciplinary research we are making this publication freely available. We ask only that you cite the IAS/Durham as the source. Please download here.