September 30, 2011

Danish Institute for Advanced Studies Launched

The Rektor of SDU, Jens Oddershede, at the opening ceremony for DIAS

After the American Century       

On Friday September 30, 2011 the Danish Institute for Advanced Studies was officially launched at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). This ambitious project builds on the international recognition already gained by three Institutes at the University of Southern Denmark, in physics, management, and American Studies. DIAS will foster and reward  excellence. Its three divisions already have forged links with leading universities in the US, UK, and EU. The mission of DIAS is to stimulate intellectual creativity by crossing boundaries between disciplines within:
  • natural sciences
  • social sciences
  • humanities
At the end of 2012 DIAS will move into mew offices occupying one floor of a new building on the main campus of SDU

DIAS consists of:

Origins and evolution of the universe at the Centre for Particle Physics Phenomenology – CP³-Origins which has been established by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF) and opened on the 1st of September 2009 at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. CP3-Origins is the leading centre of excellence for theoretical particle physics phenomenology in Denmark. CP3-Origins aims to exploit experimental results, supercomputers and our theoretical expertise to make the next big leap in particle physics: Uncovering the origin of bright and dark matter in the universe. It will also contribute in other equally relevant quests: understanding the phase diagram of strongly interacting theories and their potential impact on understanding the dynamics behind the rapid expansion of the universe soon after the Big-Bang, known as inflation.

Origins and evolution of the social organization, is identified with the Strategic Organization Design Unit (SOD), which builds on a long research tradition associated with the evolutionary and behavioral program in economics and organizational science. In 2008 SOD was established as the first FSE research unit by The Danish Council for Independent Research in the Social Sciences (FSE), and in 2011 received the status of an elite unit at the Faculty of Social Sciences, SDU. This group of scholars examines how the organization of individual actions jointly generates organizational performance. Progress in this area is essential in order to develop a robust normative theory of organization design - and to understand how decisions regarding organization design shape performance in private and public organizations.

Origins and evolution of culture, is identified with the Center for American Studies (CAS). It was established as an SDU research unit in 1992, with additional support during its first decade from the Danish-American Fulbright Commission. CAS is the largest center of its kind in the Nordic countries, and the only one in Denmark to offer both the BA and MA degrees in American Studies. The field has always been concerned with the origins and development of culture, both in the sense of a shared (often contested) national culture and in the more specific sense of new racial, ethnic, and regional identity formations. These have come about through immigration, cultural exchange, and innovation, in a dynamic relation with historical events. Fundamental to American Studies is the realization that cultures are in constant ferment and evolution. 

DIAS is inspired by similar institutions at world’s leading universities such as Princeton, Harvard and Stanford and by advanced research centers in the Netherlands and Germany. It shares the recognition that mankind's greatest achievements have come from inner curiosity, giving rise to new ways of thinking and changes in perception. The directors already collaborate with faculty at IAS, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, CERN and MIT.

DIAS is a center for theoretical research. Initially, it unites outstanding research groups that will foster synergy between the sciences and humanities allowing new ideas to emerge. The union and rapid communication of ideas among research groups allows for the construction of a novel fellowship among the DIAS faculty and increases the competitiveness and global recognition of Danish research.