University Colloquium

Humanity’s Diary: The Genesis of the Bible

Carel van Schaik
Thursday 15 March 2018

The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. It has been venerated--or excoriated--as God's word, but so far no one has read the Bible for what it is: humanity's diary, chronicling our ancestors' valiant attempts to cope with the trials and tribulations of unexpected new problems.

University Colloquium: Carel van Schaik - 15 March

Rethinking Nationality

A Country Called Europe?

A Human Atlas of a Continent United in Diversity
Dimitris Ballas
Tuesday 20 February 2018

We often think of European countries as discrete entities—their own languages, cultures, food, and economies squarely contained within their national boundaries. But in fact Europe is at once a unified place and a sophisticatedly fragmented one, and national boundaries rarely reflect its social and economic realities.

Rethinking Nationality

What is the Value of Your Nationality?

Dimitry Kochenov
Tuesday 13 February 2018

Migration is a widely discussed topic, but talking about migration also implies a ranking of the quality of nationalities worldwide. In the absolute majority of circumstances our nationality plays an important role in establishing a highly irrational ceiling for our opportunities and aspirations. Our nationality is a random act of birth boasting no correlation with any person’s achievements, ideas, feelings and desires.


What they don't teach you about thinking

John Furey
Wednesday 22 November 2017

Getting things to work well is often about understanding people and their differences. Why is it so difficult to understand these differences and communicate with others effectively? What if you could know how people think and what to expect of them, and how to use your own thinking more effectively to improve outcomes?

Division within Society

Michèle Lamont– co-speaker Rafael Wittek
Monday 20 November 2017

In many Western societies, social status and impact are determined by personal success in terms of level education, career, money and possessions. Such a one-sided focus on a narrow range of competences and knowledge produces a competitive society of winners (some) and losers (many). This is a recipe for social instability.

Division within Society - 20 November 2017


Brexit, Trump and the New Europe

Luuk van Middelaar
Thursday 19 October 2017

The 2016 Brexit vote and the US Trump election represented a dual threat for the European Union. A populist revolt — the immediate danger of which has subsided after the 2017 elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany. But also a geopolitical wake-up call. When the USA goes for America First, Europe has to “take its destiny into its own hands” (as Angela Merkel put it earlier this year).

Blaauw lecture

Dark Forces in the Invisible Universe

Anna Scaife
Wednesday 11 October 2017

Magnetic fields are one of the most crucial components of the Universe. We know that magnetic fields are present everywhere. Large-scale fields intersperse the gas in our own Milky Way, and contribute significantly to the turbulent motion of gas between galaxies.

Blaauw Lecture 2017: Dark Force in the Invisible Universe - Anna Scaife