14 February 2018

Official opening Centre for Complex System Studies

The Centre for Complex Systems Studies has recently opened its doors in the Minnaert building. The Centre builds upon the success of the Utrecht University focus area Complex Systems Studies and provides an inspirational meeting place for the people and activities related to the field of complexity science. Henk Dijkstra, director of the Centre, quoted Stephen Hawking during the opening ceremony with the words: "I think the next century will be the century of Complexity."

The Centre for Complex Systems Studies (CCSS) approaches societal challenges using theories and models from the natural sciences. Many of these social issues are not yet fully understood. One of the challenges the researchers face is that even a small change in one of the variables can have significant impact on the whole. The Centre stimulates and facilitates interdisciplinary complexity research, and currently offers students a Bachelor’s minor, a Master’s profile and a summer school programme.

Opening ceremony

More than 120 people attended the opening ceremony on January 12. The visitors came from the different faculties of Utrecht University and a broad range of external partners - including NWO, KNMI, TNO and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Sjef Smeekens, Dean of the Faculty of Science, kicked off the official opening by emphasising the strong interdisciplinary approach of Complex Systems Studies. The guest speakers were Spinoza Award winner Prof. Alexander van Oudenaarden and the Science Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre Prof. Carl Folke.

Interactive game

After the talks, the audience played an interactive game dealing with a complex systems research proposal. The activity gave visitors a taste of the impact of complexity research on societal challenges and how the Centre can facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue. The event concluded with a tour of the Centre’s offices in the newly renovated Minnaert building.

More information

Visit the Centre for Complex Systems Studies website.