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The Shapeshifters Symposium

  • 30 - 31 May 2024
  • Amsterdam
  • Centre for Unusual Collaborations

Plasticity, the ability to be molded in various forms while maintaining a core identity, is a term that is increasingly used within various fields of science, e.g. neuroscience, plant- and cell biology, and within the humanities. However, the meaning and use of plasticity varies between these fields. How are these different usages – from shapeshifting to adaptability, related between disciplines, and how can plasticity be developed into a threshold concept within fields where it is currently not in use?

The Shapeshifters Symposium is a transdisciplinary two-day event that explores the concept of plasticity across academic domains and beyond. We, a group of interdisciplinary scholars, invite researchers, societal stakeholders and artists to come together and question what it means to be a shape within a shapeshifting society, a form within a form – adapting, evolving and mutating, along with its environment. And you are warmly invited to join us!

Day One of the symposium, May 30, consists of four panel discussions, intermittent by coffee, tea and lunch breaks to mingle and connect. Two panel facilitators will frame the topic of each panel with a statement from the perspective of their background. After that, the conversation will be opened to all people present ‘fishbowl-style’, meaning everybody is invited to join (and leave) the available seats on stage and add to the discussion with questions and thoughts.

On Day Two, May 31, we will continue the discussions, and collectively work on a white paper and book with the working title ‘Plasticity, here, there, and everywhere’. You are welcome to join us and contribute to both.

Two weeks before the symposium, a first draft of the white paper will be circulated amongst the participants.

To join, please register preferably before May 15.

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