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Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments

The University Center of Excellence “IMSErt – Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments”

Dyrektor Centrum: dr hab. Adam Kola, prof. UMK

The aim of the University Center of Excellence IMSErt – Interacting Minds, Societies, Environments is to cross the boundaries of traditionally, ideographically (descriptively) understood humanities and social sciences towards pioneering research, big data analyses, quantitative and experimental research focused on the nomothetical (i.e. aiming at formulating regularities and laws) explanation of cultural processes.

The Center’s activity focuses on creating genuinely interdisciplinary projects. Thinking about humanities and social sciences in cooperation with natural and exact sciences by applying modern technologies (including tools of digital and experimental humanities) will enable the implementation of innovative research projects. The disciplines conducting research as part of the Center include linguistics, archaeology, psychology, social geography, environmental studies, economics, finance and management and others.

Five leading themes have been identified for implementation by the Center:

  1. Past Environment, Societies and Cultures – Multidisciplinary Perspective;
  2. People, Space and Environment;
  3. Evolution of Communication Systems;
  4. Knowledge Complexity and Memory;
  5. Sustainable Development and the Society of the Future.

One of the initiatives that the Centre will implement is the establishment of the Foresight Lab focusing on forecasting the future, closely collaborating with the socio-economic environment and broad international cooperation.

An important element of the unit’s operation will involve encouraging the University staff to carry out their projects in collaboration with the Center and conduct independent and externally funded projects. The idea behind the Center’s activity is to promote new concepts and ways of practising humanities and social sciences, strongly connected with the achievements of world science.

More information at https://imsert.umk.pl/

Dr hab. Adam Kola, prof. UMK has been Vice-Dean for Organisation and Development of the Faculty of Humanities, Nicolaus Copernicus University since September 2016 and was Vice-Director of the Institute of Slavic Languages at the same Faculty between 2011- 2014. He is an assistant professor, Head of the Laboratory for the Study of Collective Memory in Post-Communist Europe – POSTCOMER, a member of the Laboratory for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (since 2011) both at the Faculty of Humanities, Nicolaus Copernicus University, and a visiting scholar at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago (since 2016). Dr Kola is also Vice-Chair of the Section of Anthropology of History of the Polish Ethnological Society, a member of the editorial committee of the “Projekty Komparatystyki” publishing series (Universitas Publishing House, Kraków) and the editor of several journals. Besides, he was Head of the Training Department of the International Centre for Information Management Systems and Services (ICIMSS; 2009-2012) as well as Chair of the Board of the Scientific Association Collegium Invisibile, Warsaw, Poland (both institutions are non-governmental organizations focused on scientific work). Dr Kola was a visiting scholar at Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York (2009), at the University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice (postdoc, 2007), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2004) and Charles University in Prague (2002-2003). He also conducted archive searches in many European and American archives, including Columbia University (2009, 2014), Harvard (2009, 2012), MIT (2009, 2012), Yale (2012) and the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda (Maryland, 2018).

He was the principal investigator of several grants including those funded by the National Science Centre: Transligualism in Knowledge Transfer Process: the Case of Polish Intellectuals in the US, 2018-2019 or Millennium. Celebrating the anniversary of the baptism of Eastern and Central Europe, 2019-2022. He received five different scholarships from the Foundation for Polish Science: Start (first in 2009 and second time in 2010), Conference Grant (2010), Search in 2012 and Mentoring in 2012-2014. He was a scholarship holder of the ERC Mentoring Initiative (2016-2017) organized by the Institute of Human Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences – Research Station in Vienna, Austria. He was a member of several grants and received several grants from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (2004, 2010, 2011, 2012).

His achievements and skills have been confirmed by various highly prestigious distinctions and awards in Polish science, including the scholarship for outstanding young scientists from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (2012-2015). He was a finalist of the “Polityka” scientific awards in the humanities. He was a member of the organizing committee of the International Conference of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) entitled “Situating Solidarities: social challenges for science and technology studies”, the NCU Faculty of Humanities, Toruń (September 17-19, 2014) as well as ten other conferences, workshops and lectures.

Dr Kola is the author of three books, the editor of four more books and two thematic issues of scientific journals (the next book, the volume under editorship and the special issue of the journal are in print), the author of about 100 scientific articles in Polish, Czech, Russian, German and English, and translations from Czech and English into Polish.

In 2013 he co-founded and since then has been the President of the Polish Comparative Literature Association which he has been incorporating into the structure of the International Comparative Literature Association (ICLA) and was, therefore, nominated to the ICLA board for the term 2019-2022 (elections at the ICLA Congress in Macao in early August 2019).