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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 IAS Fellows join us in Durham each year to 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.


'Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious' - new book by Professor N. Katherine Hayles (former IAS Fellow)

Former IAS (Emergence) Fellow, Professor N. Katherine Hayles has recently published her latest book 'Unthought: The Power of the Cognitive Nonconscious' (University of Chicago Press).

Professor Hayles is known for breaking new ground at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities. In Unthought, she once again bridges disciplines by revealing how we think without thinking—how we use cognitive processes that are inaccessible to consciousness yet necessary for it to function.

For further information see the University of Chicago Press.

(6 Jun 2017)

Volume 10 of Insights published

Volume 10 of the Institute of Advanced Study's E-journal 'Insights' have been published. This volume contains contributions on the theme of Evidence (2015/16) and earlier themes including Light (2013/14). 'Insights' contains the contributions from visiting Fellows and captures the cutting-edge research hosted at Durham each year. Every fellow writes for the series and the result is a unique collection of thought experiments, innovative research findings, theoretical statements, original reviews, and occasionally more fully worked treatises.

This volume will see additional contribtutions over the course of the year.

(5 Jun 2017)

2018/19 IAS Fellowship Scheme is open to receive applications

Applications for Fellowships in 2018/19 are now being accepted. Closing date – 30 June 2017. 

Launched in October 2006 to mark the 175th anniversary of the foundation of the University, the IAS aims to foster creative interdisciplinary thinking – and to communicate this to public audiences – through dialogue and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. The Institute seeks to catalyse new ideas by bringing together internationally recognised academics as well as writers, artists and practitioners. 

At its core lies a generously funded International Fellowship programme which allows the IAS to invite scholars to Durham from the full spectrum of the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities to address research themes of global significance.

Fellows may contribute to the any of the four major projects support by the Institute during 2018/19 (see: and/or collaborate with other Durham scholars. 

An IAS fellowship provides the holder time to develop their research and ideas in a thriving academic community of scholars. Fellowships are offered for a three-month period between October to December 2018 and January to March 2019. 

Full details and information about the scheme can be located here. 

(18 May 2017)

Professor Nicholas Saul organises and addresses conference ‘Novalis und die Medizin’ ‘(Novalis and medicine’) at the International Novalis Society

Professor Nicholas Saul both organised and spoke at the conference of the Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft 4-7 May 2017 to mark Friedrich von Hardenberg’s 245th birthday and also the 25th anniversary of the Society's foundation. The conference took place at Schloß Oberwiederstedt, the Hardenberg family Stammschloß (ancestral castle) and Novalis’s birthplace, in Sachsen-Anhalt. 

22 papers by leading international scholars including Nicolas Pethes, Alice Kuzniar, Dietrich von Engelhardt, Heinz Schott, Manfred Engel and Jürgen Barkhoff were delivered on the theme of 'Novalis und die Medizin‘ (Novalis and medicine). Professor Saul, who is Vice-President of the Socitey, spoke on ‘Blüthenstaub. Leben und Mitteilen. Zum Kommunikationsbegriff der Romantik’. 

The conference was sponsored by the State of Saxony-Anhalt (Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff), the Alfred Krupp von Bohler und Halbach-Stiftung, and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina in Halle.

(12 May 2017)

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: 560

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: 150

King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
King Hussein Memorial Lecture 2016
Views: 85

‘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.

Contact Details

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

Register now for the IAS Annual IAS London Debate

Thursday 22 June 2017 at the ICAEW, Chartered Accountants’ Hall, One Moorgate Place, London.

Panellists include: Professor Dame Sandra Dawson (University of Cambridge); Professor Kristine Kern (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space), Professor Ulrike Guérot (European Democracy Lab), and Professor Peter Kinderman (University of Liverpool). 

2018/19 IAS Fellowship Scheme - Recruitment Open Now

Deadline for IAS Fellowship Applications: 30 June 2017


DATE Change:
Understanding and Representing Scale: Physics and Scale: from femtophysics to atoms, biology and the Universe - workshop.
Now takes place on 4th & 5th July (not 3rd and 4th July).