Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference 2019

‘It’s still not easy to implement interdisciplinary research and education in the academic world’

41st AIS Conference opened in Amsterdam

24 October 2019

From today up to and including Saturday, the international ‘Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Conference’ will take place at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) is the host of the 41st AIS Conference this year, which is taking place in Europe for the first time and is now sold out.

Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus, UvA, opened the conference with her speech: “In a fast-changing world, we need academics who can look beyond the borders of disciplines in order to find solutions to complex global challenges, such as water management, population ageing and migration.”

Lucy Wenting, director of the IIS: “We are extremely proud to be the first host outside the US of this international conference, which is completely devoted to interdisciplinary research and education. It’s impossible to imagine the University and society without interdisciplinarity. However, it’s still not easy to implement interdisciplinary research and education in the academic world and bridge the gap with society. That is why this conference is important in order to exchange global knowledge and expertise and set an agenda for the future.

In addition to Karen Maex's speech, James Kennedy from Utrecht University gave context to the conference by referring to the developments of Amsterdam from the Golden Age to the present and Allison Upshaw from Merrimack College from the US made everyone feel how difficult it is to work together and sing in ensemble if you each have your own sound. She used this exercise as a metaphor for finding a common language in interdisciplinary research and education.

Interdisciplinarity in global contexts

The central theme of this conference is ‘Interdisciplinarity in global contexts’. Because interdisciplinary research and education examine issues that take place at a specific location, the context plays an important role. In this way, local innovations and interventions can have a major impact on the rest of the world. Vulnerable population groups often bear a heavier burden with regard to the consequences of climate change and migration. During the conference, we would like to devote attention to this specifically.

The AIS Conference is sold out. It will take place at the Roeterseiland Campus of the UvA from Thursday 24-Saturday 26 October.


Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies