Skip to main content

CLEA seminar + live discussion. Transdisciplinarity: How Is It Done?

Location: VUB Etterbeek campus - room D.1.07
Add to personal calendar

Welcome to the first live CLEA seminar of 2022!

For almost three decades, CLEA has been advancing its mission to bridge the different scientific, social, and cultural disciplines by means of thinking beyond boundaries. In this seminar, we are revisiting the research programme of transdisciplinarity from a methodological and procedural angle, addressing the question: how is that transdisciplinarity, actually, done? What differences in the research practices amount to outcomes that can be deemed transdisciplinary? Are the methods of transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity systematically different? Can we conceptualize their features positively, rather than via the opposition to the features attributed to the traditional academic disciplines? Can such positive features be methodically taught?

The discussion panel, held between senior researchers experienced in transdisciplinary science, education, and philosophy, features several members of the CLEA team and a guest speaker: prof. Marcin J. Schroeder from Tohoku University, Japan, who believes that “transdisciplinarity has to be learned early and this type of education is long overdue”. CLEA researchers, Karin Verelst and Michael A. Woodley of Menie, will share their perspectives, drawing our attention to the challenges and pitfals of transdisciplinary studies. According to Michael, the ontological uncertainty inherent in these studies creates a "big hazard of subordinating the field to personal, moral, and political goals." Finally, the CLEA director, prof. Francis Heylighen, will summarize his understanding of the transdisciplinary research training as a process of “acquiring a toolbox of concepts and methods applicable to problems in any discipline”.

The Panellists:

Karin Verelst, A molecular biologist, historian and philosopher interested in the foundations of mathematics, early modern natural philosophy, the structural characterisation of causal theories using category theory, and the logico-algebraic approach to the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Marcin J. Schroeder, Professor at Tohoku University, Japan; Professor Emeritus at AIU, Japan; Editor-in-Chief at Philosophies; investigates how to make one out of many.

Michael A. Woodley of Menie, CLEA researcher interested in behavior genetics, evolutionary psychology, personality and individual differences, and comparative psychology.

Francis Heylighen, VUB professor and director of CLEA, investigates the origin and evolution of organization and intelligence.

Marta Lenartowicz (host), CLEA’s director of education interested in the conceptual underpinnings that govern the evolution of intelligence in human cognitive systems at multiple scales.


The CLEA seminars are taking place simultaneously at the VUB campus in Etterbeek, Brussels,
and online (via Zoom) and are open to everyone interested!

When. Friday April 8, 2022 from 14:00 until 16:30h

Where (live). VUB campus Etterbeek, room D.1.07

Online. You can follow online via this Zoom link