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Durham University’s flagship interdisciplinary research Institute,

the Institute of Advanced Study based in Durham’s iconic Cosin’s

Hall on the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a wonderfully unique

and creative environment, allowing the University to bring together

eminent scholars, artists, and public figures from around the world.

The IAS provides a foundational and transformational environment

to its Fellows, international visitors and Durham scholars and

their networks in which interdisciplinary debate, exchange and

collaboration can be fostered across the full disciplinary spectrum.

As one of only a handful of comparable institutions globally that

promotes dialogue across the Sciences, Social Sciences, the Arts

and Humanities, the IAS allows ideas to grow and blossom. A space

free from disciplinary silos and boundaries, Cosin’s’ Hall is the ideal

location for creative thinking.

The IAS plays a central and supportive role to Durham University

in its vision to raise its national and international profiles. 2016

saw the IAS celebrate its decennial anniversary and in a decade

more than 300 IAS and COFUND Fellows have taken up residential

Fellowships in Durham, at the IAS and underpinning Fellowships

in departments, becoming integrated into Durham’s networks,

and engaging in intellectual exchanges and international research

collaborations. The activities of the IAS this year focus primarily on a

programme of work associated with its annual research theme and

its Fellowship. The IAS Fellowship programme is foundational to the

Institute and it brings together the world’s finest scholars and non-

academics. In addition the Fellowship supports the University in

showcasing its academic excellence, productivity and international

profile. Two cohorts of outstanding leading international scholars

are invited to spend three months at the IAS. During the 3-month

stay, Fellows advance their own research and are encouraged

to engage in collaborative research conversations and activities

across departments, institutes and centres. Above all, they join

an international community of researchers to address the IAS

theme. IAS Fellows establish long-lasting links with departments

at Durham, and are given many opportunities to deliver papers at

events organised to coincide with the theme. This includes giving

lectures and seminars within the IAS, departments and colleges,

and having the opportunity to contribute to a full range of activities

through the IAS’s sponsored programme of workshops, conferences

and seminars organised by colleagues at Durham. In addition

to the theme the IAS also supports interdisciplinary research

developments beyond the theme and often in partnership with

other Durham interdisciplinary University Research Institutes and

Research Centres.

Since 2006 the IAS has welcomed Fellows from around the world,

including Austria, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, China,

Ethiopia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy,

Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Nepal, New Zealand, the Netherlands,

Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, South Africa and the USA.

For the 2017/18 academic year the IAS will welcome 20 Fellows to

address the annual theme of


. Their biographies and plans

are summarised in this programme.

The IAS has developed multiple research activities under major

annual themes over the last decade: T

he Legacy of Charles

Darwin, Modelling, Being Human, Water, Futures, Futures II, Time,

Light, Emergence, Evidence



. These have built upon

core disciplinary strengths at Durham while also developing new