Who's in Town @ 200 with Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

08May2017 17:45 - 20:00


In honour of the 200th edition of AUC's 'Who's in Town' seminar series, Prof. Dr. Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam, will present a celebratory lecture titled "Why science and society should go hand in hand". Prof. Dr. Maex will be introduced by AUC student Tadeus Hogenelst on behalf of the sciences focused Curiosity committee. Following the lecture, expert panellists Loïs Hutubessy and Dr. Erinç Salor will offer reactions to Maex's ideas. AUC warmly invites staff, faculty, students, members of the local community and those interested to join us in marking this momentous occasion.

Why science and society should go hand in hand 

Abstract by Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

The convergence of disciplines like physics, chemistry, electronics, medicine and more, have led to a boost in these disciplines. With the current body of knowledge, we build materials atom by atom, we design the composition of materials, and as such design ‘new’ characteristics. As a consequence, knowledge is no longer limited to better and a more in-depth understanding of the status quo. It is at the same time creating new artefacts and leads inherently and immediately to change. In this lecture, I would like to give a short overview of this scientific evolution, drawing upon insights from physics and material science, exploring their relation to Moore’s law and to the subsequent ICT revolution we are experiencing today. A reflection on which mechanisms are underlying this evolution is relevant for the future -- not only for the future of science and education, but also for the future of our society.

About Prof. Dr. Karen Maex

Prof. Dr. Karen Maex has been Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam since June 2016. Prior to this, Prof. Dr. Maex was Dean of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Science and Dean of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam's Faculties of Sciences and Earth & Life Sciences from January 2014 to May 2016. Prof. Dr. Maex has been a professor of Material Physics for Nanoelectronics at the University of Leuven since 1998, and became a full professor in 2003. She has extensive executive experience in the national and international context. In 2008, she became a member of the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). As vice-rector of the University of Leuven, she was also responsible for the Science & Technology group from 2005 to 2013.  Prof. Dr. Maex's full profile can be viewed here

Reactions from panellists

Following Prof. Dr. Maex's lecture, a panel of three experts from various disciplines will offer their reactions and elaborate on the ideas presented. 

Dr. Erinç Salor Dr. Erinç Salor is a teacher and tutor at AUC. Along with teaching the courses Introduction to Cities and Cultures, Media and Communication, New Media Literacies, Perspectives on Games and Game Studies, his research areas focus on studying the various ways new media interacts with established norms, including video games, comics and science fiction. 
Dr. André Nusselder André Nusselder is a lecturer at AUC where he teaches the course "The Posthuman." He is also a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Science (Institute of Informatics: Information Studies) where his focus is on innovation, philosophy and design. He has also published books on desire in new media and digital culture ("Interface Fantasy" - MIT Press; "The Surface Effect" - Routledge).
Loïs Hutubessy  Loïs Hutubessy is a third-year Social Sciences student at AUC completing her Capstone project on how scientific issues and debates are communicated in the public sphere. Focusing on the issue of climate change, she is investigating how the debate is taking place over new media platforms.


Who's in Town: an AUC tradition

Since 2010, members of the AUC community have been organising small-scale seminars by inviting prominent and interesting guest speakers who happened to be "in town" to give a presentation, lecture and/or debate at AUC. These events allowed members of the local and wider academic communities to engage with prominent speakers in an informal, intimate setting. Often working with students as an extension of their interests, previous guests have included academics, members of the corporate world, AUC Scholarship Fund sponsors, artists, activists, diplomats, local entrepreneurs, representatives of partner universities, cutting edge researchers, politicians and many, many more.

These lectures and seminars aim to transcend disciplines and offer speakers, students and the wider community a platform to discuss issues in science and society by not only focusing on the "big questions," but also on how different perspectives and disciplines are integral in developing a holistic understanding of contemporary problems. 

Event details

Location: Common Room
Amsterdam University College
Science Park 113
1098XG Amsterdam
Time: 17.45-19.15 (lecture and panellist reactions)
19.15-20.00 (reception)
Convenors: Dr. Forrest Bradbury
Tadeus Hogenelst  and  the AUC Curiousity Committee

Published by  Amsterdam University College