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synergies at the interface of established specialisms.

This programme also includes details of the variety of fascinating

cross-disciplinary research projects that are being led by Durham

academics this year. The IAS aims to build research capacity,

realise potential, and meet the challenges of a changing world. This

is taken forward through a rich programme of boundary-crossing

conferences, workshops, seminars and public lectures. There are

many ways to participate in the life and work of the Institute and in

particular its annual research theme. A variety of events will take

place during 2017/18, and Fellows and colleagues from across the

university, will address issues of major contemporary intellectual

interest concerning


which is a key organizing concept in

many areas of research and scholarship. Languages and narratives,

social and biophysical systems, molecules and geological formations

are all said to have structure, but what common concepts link these

different sorts of structure? What does structure do, physically and

conceptually? Can there be anything without structure?

Highlights in this year’s programme include: a three-day

international conference exploring conceptualisations of

‘fundamental structures’ across a range of disciplines; a two-day

workshop which aims to bring together historians, philosophers

and scientists together to discuss the historical development of

material science structural theory; a wide ranging programme that

will consider Victorian interdisciplinarity focusing on the dynamics

of interdisciplinary interaction in the formation and promulgation

of individual disciplines. A further series of events aims to open

up new debates about the ways in which people in antiquity and

the early Middle Ages (AD c.300-c.800) restructured the world

around them, or perceived its restructuring to be taking place, at

both macro-and micro-levels; a two-day workshop will reflect on the

role molecular models have played in scientific practice and the

role they play in non-specialist representations of science; a further

series of workshops will engage in discussion about structure and

symmetry involving several disciplines including among others:

music, molecular biology, zoology, physics, mathematics, law and


This is simply a sample of the wide range of intellectually exciting

activities planned for the


year, with the full programme

described on pages 20 - 37

In addition to these activities and others, is the IAS co-convened

The Future of the University

public lecture series, which is free and

open to all. This series is organised in conjunction with University

College and speakers this year include among others, Professor

Judith Butler; Professor Louise Richardson, Professor Peter

Coveney, Professor N. Kate Hayles and the Rt Hon. the Lord David

Willetts. The visiting IAS Fellows will also deliver public lectures

during the course of Michaelmas and Epiphany terms and all details

of both series are included within the programme.

We very much hope you enjoy reading this programme and finding

out more about the IAS and its work. For further details about the

Institute, its Fellows and academic programme please visit the IAS



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