Since its foundation in 1995, CLEA has been organizing public research seminars, typically about twenty per academic year. For previous series, see the Past seminars and ECCO seminars. Some of these seminars have been organized in series on specific topics, such as COT x Music, or Longevity+.
Speakers present their ongoing research on various topics within the broad, multidisciplinary CLEA domains and then get feedback from the audience. The intention is to discuss in depth the ideas and issues proposed and to look for transdisciplinary connections with other topics. Speakers are requested to avoid technicalities so that people from different backgrounds can follow their presentation.
A seminar typically lasts two hours, with about one hour presentation and one hour discussion. Video recordings are usually streamed live via Zoom and afterwards published on our YouTube channel.
Everyone interested in the topic. The discussions are informal and interactive. Most participants are experienced researchers and CLEA affiliates, but we regularly welcome students and people from outside academia. Depending on the topic, live audiences are about 8-20 people, but video recordings may reach thousands of views.
The seminars are given both online via the ZOOM platform and on the main VUB campus, typically in room D.1.07, or occasionally in the CLEA house. After the seminar, participants usually go to the nearby Opinio cafe on campus to continue the discussion in a more relaxed atmosphere, with a beer or a coffee.
How do I keep informed?
You can subscribe to our mailing list where we announce seminars about 5 days in advance. You can also subscribe to our public Google Calendar. Seminars are further announced on our website (this page), our Facebook page and LinkedIn page.
If you are interested to present your own research in one of our series, please contact Marta Lenartowicz with your proposal and check the Instructions for people preparing to present a seminar.
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...
The previous CLEA debate, ‘ Transdisciplinarity: How is it Done? ’, invited the academic community to revisit the practices of transdisciplinary research from a methodological and processual angle...
Evolution doesn’t only occur vertically but also horizontally via a group of mechanisms called 'reticulate evolution’, which makes the 'tree of life’ look more like a 'web of life’. In this talk, Nathalie Gontier will explain how she uses this theoretical causation framework to understand teleonomy as a problem of ‘self-causation’.
In this CLEA seminar, philosopher Matteo Mossio will discuss how the theory of autonomy, which is a model for self-organization, can open up new perspectives for understanding biological phenomena. In particular, he will discuss how the theory of autonomy can shape modeling strategies of biological phenomena by relying on the concept of ‘constraints closure’, which is a set of processes that form a closed loop. He will also discuss the challenges that the theory of autonomy has to take up in relation to modeling strategies.
In this talk, philosopher Alvaro Moreno will explore autonomous agency, how to artificially generate minimal forms of agency and what we can learn from biology about the minimal material conditions required to generate agential capacities.
Building scientific knowledge implies making ontological assumptions, experiments are theory-laden and data are a partial construct informed by researchers’ preferences. In short, there are various valid perspectives on reality. Of course, this does not mean that in science, ‘anything goes’. Data exclude some explanations, more experiments allow to narrow down possible theories. Nevertheless, science always remains a balancing act between constructivism and empiricism. In this CLEA seminar, Karin Verelst will shed a light on this complex balance against the background of the ever-growing realm of interdisciplinary research. She will use Poincaré’s approach to scientific knowledge - the perspectival principle of ‘conventionalism’ - to do justice to the dual nature of science as both invention and discovery without falling into the relativist trap.