2014/15 theme activities
Throughout our lives we are all immersed in multiple processes, participating in social, intellectual, biological and material flows of events. Emergence – the appearance of novelty – occurs in all of the systems we inhabit, at local, global and cosmic scales, at microscopic and macroscopic levels. Sometimes emergence manifests itself as emergency, disrupting stable arrangements and tipping humans or other species into a state of crisis. Sometimes ideas, things or properties emerge that offer new hope and new possibilities.
This theme opens up ways to explore how and why emergence occurs, seeking to understand causality, emergent events and their effects by bringing together diverse perspectives from the social and physical sciences, the arts, and the humanities. In this sense the theme encapsulates the core aims of the IAS: by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and sharing the distinct strengths of different approaches to research questions, we seek to enable the emergence of novelty in intellectual debates.