Seminars 2010-2011

Program of the 7th ECCO Seminar Series (2010-2011)

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 15 seminars per year.

Unless noted otherwise, the seminar room is B 0.036 (building B, level 0, close to the human sciences computer rooms), in the VUB Campus Etterbeek. Coffee is available for free. Seminar room provided in collaboration with MOSI.



(presentations will be added as dates become fixed):




Oct. 29

 Francis Heylighen (ECCO, VUB) 

   Evolutionary Well-Being: the paleolithic hunter-gatherer as model for health and happiness (slides)

Nov. 5

10 A.M

Richard Holzer & Hermann de Meer 

(University  of Passau)

 Evaluation of self-organizing systems using quantitative measures (slides)

Nov. 12 

 Karin Verelst (CLEA, VUB)

 A Note on the Categorical Nature of Causation

Nov. 19

 academic holiday

 no seminar

Nov. 26

  Jon Echanove (AoEC, China)

 Uncertainty and Personal Development (slides)

Dec. 3

 Clément Vidal (ECCO, VUB)

  Black Holes as Attractors for Intelligent Civilisations

Dec. 8


 Frank Tipler

(Tulane University)

  The ultimate future - Of the Universe, of Computers, and of Humanity

Dec 10

 Nathalie Gontier (CLWF, VUB)

  Identifying the units, levels and mechanisms of evolution: an epistemological approach

Dec. 17

 Bertin Martens (European  Commission)

 Economic exchange as a cognitive transmission channel in human soc

Jan 14 (in CLEA, not MOSI!)

Chris Exton (University of Limerick)


  Perspectives on Altruistic Internet Based Phenomena


Jan 21 (in CLEA, not MOSI!)

 Marco Fenici (University of Siena)

 Children's Understanding of Others' Minds: Empirical Research and Challenges Ahead


ECCO Seminar series 2010/2011 second session, May 6th - July 1st



  Speaker(s)   Topic

May 5


 Øyvind Vada (Memetor)  Memetic Governance in theory and practice
May 13

 Gerard Jagers op Akkerhuis (University of Wageningen)

 Exploring mechanisms for Closures
May 20

 Corina Ciechanow

May 27

 Mario Vaneechoutte and Marc Verhaegen (University of Gent)

 Was Man more aquatic in the past? Fifty years after Alister Hardy.

June 3

 Walter Dejonghe (University College of West-Flanders (Howest))

 Experiences with stigmergic prototyping
June 10

 Francis Heylighen (ECCO, VUB)

 Challenges, Agents and Coordination: how an action ontology can help us tackle both practical and foundational problems

June 17

 David R. Weinbaum (Weaver) (ECCO, VUB)

 Complexity and the philosophy of becoming.
June 24 (in CLEA, not MOSI!)  Viktoras Veitas (Economic Research Centre, Vilnius)  Public policy design: formulating a mess.
July 1 (10:30-12:30 the usual place)  Mixel Kiemen (ECCO, VUB)

Technological singularity as the emerging embodiment of the global brain: how losing degrees of freedom allows us to gain degrees of freedom


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 Weaver  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. 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. 


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