Seminars 2017-2018

 Program of the 14th ECCO/GBI Seminar Series (2017-2018)

Speakers present their on-going research on various topics within the broad Evolution, Complexity and Cognition (ECCO) domain, and then get feedback from the audience. The intention is to discuss in depth the ideas and issues proposed, and to look for transdisciplinary connections with other topics. Speakers are requested to avoid technicalities, so that people from different backgrounds can follow their presentation.

For whom?
Everybody interested in complex systems, evolution, cognition, and their practical and philosophical implications. The discussions are informal and very interactive, with small groups (about 8-10 people). Most participants are researchers, but we regularly welcome students and people from outside academia. Free entrance!

This series is listed in the PhD seminars approved by the VUB Doctoral School of the Human Sciences. On request, you can get a proof of your participation. 

Unless noted otherwise, seminars take place on Fridays at 2 pm. The seminars last about two hours with approximatively one hour of presentation, and one hour of discussion. New series start in the beginning of each academic year, with about 20 seminars per year.

The seminars are in the VUB Campus Etterbeek, the room is specified below per seminar.

Videos of previous seminars are available at the GBI Channel on YouTube


Preliminary Program

First series (autumn):

Date Room Speaker Topic
Oct. 13 D.1.07

 Clement Vidal


 Cadell Last

 Are we cosmically (in)significant?


 Technological Singularity and the Big Historical Worldview

Oct. 20 D.1.07  Li Xiubo  The practical reasoning of complex engineering systems design
Oct. 27 D.1.07  cancelled  cancelled
Nov. 3 D.1.07  Petter Törnberg  The social complexity of digital data
Nov. 10 D.1.07  Atanu Chatterjee  Non-equilibrium thermodynamics from First Principles
Nov. 17 PL5.5.61  Katarina Petrovic  On cosmogony: approaching the unknowable origin
Nov. 24 D.1.07  Paul B. Rainey  Origins of multicellular life
Dec. 1 D.1.07


 Francis Heylighen


 Social system programming: emotional and behavioural mechanisms co-opted for social control
Dec. 8 D.1.07  Francois Taddei  Towards a learning planet

Dec. 15

Dec. 22



 Mareno de Kort 

 Kris Verburgh


 The fourth industrial revolution and health: the second biotech age



Final announcements with an abstract and additional information are distributed by email about 4 days before the seminar. People outside of ECCO who wish to receive these can subscribe to the Brussels Complexity mailing list.

If you are interested to present a seminar in our series, please contact Cadell  with your proposal.


Instructions for people preparing to present a seminar

Please send the abstract of your talk (about 200 words - 1 paragraph) at least 5 days before the lecture to Weaver, so that he can distribute it via our mailing list. This should include your affiliation, a link to your home page, and possibly 1-3 (web) references, where interested people can find more information about the topic of your talk. If you are not a member of ECCO we would also appreciate a short biography including your present affiliation and what you are working on.

The seminar room has an in-built computer projector and screen, so you can easily show PowerPoint or other presentations from your laptop (Do not forget the power cord of your computer!). If you don't bring a laptop with you, send us your file, and we'll save it on another laptop and bring it to the seminar room. You can also use transparencies with the overhead projector, or simply write notes on the blackboard.

You should prepare enough material for a one-hour talk, not more. With questions and discussions during and after the talk, this should result in a total seminar duration of about 2 hours.

After the seminar we would appreciate getting the outline or text of your presentation (PowerPoint, pdf, text or other format) to make available for downloading on this page. Even better would be if, taking into account the reactions you got at the seminar, you would elaborate your notes into a full paper, for our Working Papers archive. 


Previous seminar series