Welcome from the IAS Director

Oct 3, 2022 | IAS Director, IAS News, Transformations (Issue 7)

Welcome to our seventh edition of Transformations. Here at the IAS, we are at the time of year where we are both excited to be about to welcome a new cohort of Fellows and begin new projects, but it’s also a chance to reflect on the projects and Fellowships that happened last year.

It was wonderful to return to in person Fellowships last year, and we are hoping that this year, and heading forward, this returns to being the norm. Not only having our Fellows returning in person, but also to return to more ‘normal’ times in having the majority of our IAS activities face to face in Cosin’s Hall too. This year we have our first Development Projects running alongside our Major Projects, meaning there will be more activity than ever within the IAS. On top of this we have new events to showcase our projects, and grow our IAS community more broadly and we hope to be able to update you on some of these in our next newsletter.

To help us on our way, it’s also a pleasure to welcome two new Co-Directors to the IAS. Karen Johnson (Engineering) re-joins us, having spent a brief period as sabbatical cover in the IAS a few years ago. Gretchen Larsen (Marketing) also joins us in the IAS to help grow our connections within the Business Faculty. With a full cohort of co-directors, in person fellows, and face to face academic activities this will be a busy but exciting term.

Whilst things grow and develop apace here in the IAS, I would like to offer just a brief reflection on a friend of the IAS that we recently lost. Prof Colin Blakemore supported the IAS through two terms on our Advisory Council as well as a number of other activities such as speaking at our House of Lords event in 2016 and giving a public lecture during our Emergence theme in 2015. From a personal perspective, Colin was the reason I studied neuroscience as an undergraduate student, where I was also lucky enough to be taught by him. His approach to science has, I hope, remained with me all these years, including the importance of combining neuroscience and philosophy to answer questions about the mind and brain. He will be sadly missed, and the IAS sends much love and deepest condolences to his family.

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