Science Shaping the World of Tomorrow. Scientific Imagination and Development of Society

March 18-20, 2015, University of Antwerp, Belgium

On 18-20 March 2015 UCSIA organizes an international academic workshop on Science Shaping the World of Tomorrow. Scientific Imagination and Development of Society at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

We understand imagination in relation to the scientific context as the art to creatively design, produce, discuss and  envisage societal alternatives  for the future. In that sense it opens a window on the future and constitutes a source for societal development. Placed within a broader context, imagination processes play a role in the development of sciences and in the construction of societies, as well as in the interaction between sciences and societies, the former stimulating the further development of the latter, and the latter providing an environment in which the former thrives. Sciences and societies shape and further one another’s imagination processes.

The study of the creative and  productive use of imagination at the intersection  of science and society in view of  building and shaping the future constitutes the  main purpose of this workshop. This reflection will be stimulated by focusing on four subthemes:

  1. Imagination at work in the sciences
  2. Sciences as  part of the imaginary of societies
  3. Imaginaries of the future shaping contemporary reality
  4. Politics of imagination

Confirmed keynotes:

  • Peter Galison, Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics, Harvard University (USA)
  • Matthias Gross, Professor of Environmental Sociology, University of Jena (Germany) / Head of the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig (Germany)
  • Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School (USA)
  • Tom Moylan, Glucksman Professor Emeritus in the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and an Adjunct Professor, SAUL – School of Architecture of the University of Limerick, UK
  • Helga Nowotny, Professor emerita of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zürich (Switzerland) / founding member of the European Research Council

The workshop consists of a two-day international meeting with specialized lectures and presentations and debates by invited senior and junior scholars. It provides a forum of exchange of research from different disciplines such as philosophy, history, literature and the arts, sociology, economics, physics, science and technology  studies, political sciences, policy studies, …

Researchers, doctoral students and other experts are welcome to submit their application until 31 October 2014. Candidates should send in the completed application form, accompanied by an academic curriculum vitae and an outline of the proposed paper. The selection of participants will be communicated by the end of mid-December 2014 at the latest.

The selected participant will present her/his paper in a panel session (20 minutes in English) and will afterwards send in an article to be considered for publication (which will be submitted to careful selection). The aim of the organizer is to publish a selection of articles presented at the workshop.

The organizer takes on charge all costs pertaining to participation and stay in Antwerp of all selected participants, while travel arrangements and costs are incumbent on participants themselves.

Full details on

Organizing committee:

  • Arthur Cools, University of Antwerp
  • Raf de Bont, KU Leuven and Maastricht University
  • Jacques Haers, Director of Academic Affairs, UCSIA
  • Barbara Segaert, Scientific Coordinator, UCSIA
  • Jean Paul Van Bendegem, VUB – Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Maarten Van Dyck, Ghent University
  • Frédéric Vandermoere, University of Antwerp
  • Geert Vanpaemel, KU Leuven
  • Gert Verschraegen, University of Antwerp

Contact: Barbara Segaert, Project Coordinator,, T +32 (0) 3 265 45 94

More information:

Posted: September 18, 2014