Program in Interdisciplinary Studies

Institute for Advanced Study

Interdisciplinary collaboration is based on an attitude of mutual appreciation of diverse ways of knowing. Interdisciplinarity is not just about exchanging or transferring ideas. It entails transforming scholars themselves.

The Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, PIDS for short, is dedicated to developing infrastructure for open-ended intellectual exchange, uncovering new lines of inquiry that were previously inconceivable. Combining the expertise among the faculty, members, and visitors in the four Schools of IAS with interdisciplinary skills and perspectives, we work to expand the interface between formal research and the larger ecosystem of human knowledge.

For the last 12 years, we have offered After Hours Conversations as a concrete meeting point, twice a week during two months every term, in which a speaker gives a ten-minute talk about a topic of general interest, followed by twenty minutes of discussion. During the current academic year, 2021-2022, these Conversations are on hold, while we are waiting for the Covid crisis to abate and the construction of the new Rubenstein Commons building and bar to finish. We will continue this tradition in 2022-2023.

We also hold spontaneous lunch meetings around interdisciplinarity and all its facets, as described above. For further information, contact Piet Hut, the Director of PIDS.

This article gives an overview of the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies from the viewpoint of PIDS Visitors Michael Rassias and Olaf Witkowski. It appeared in the Newsletter of the European Mathematical Society, Issue 112, June 2019, pp. 40-42.