Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM)

An Advanced International Colloquium

May 17-20, 2005

organized by the

Learning Development Institute

in collaboration with the

Institute of Social Studies

under the patronage of the

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Latest update: August 23, 2005

Overview of organizational details
Partnership and sponsors
Why a meeting on Building the Scientific Mind?
What was done?
Who participated?
The BtSM Community
Intellectual contributions by BtSM community members, including sound files
Continuation of the dialogue in virtual space
Radio Netherlands Research File account of BtSM
Reports about BtSM2005
Follow-up activities to BtSM2005
BtSM in 2007



From 17 to 20 May 2005, the Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind - BtSM2005 for short - was held at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, The Netherlands. The occasion of the colloquium was significant, as is the year 2005 in which it took place, the World Year of Physics (, which celebrates the publication of Einstein’s seminal 1905 papers in the Annalen der Physik. This commemorative context did not fail to draw attention to the work of the colloquium. Thanks to the continual presence at the colloquium of Radio Netherlands and Radio Romania, BtSM2005 received ample attention in the media. And what more appropriate a place could have been chosen to reflect on the relevance and importance of the scientific mind than a country that would not even have existed had humanity not developed the state of mind that allowed it to change the parameters imposed by nature and create land where there should have been sea? Moreover, the Institute of Social Studies, in collaboration with which the colloquium was organized and at whose premises it took place, provided a most adequate setting for the colloquium. ISS is a renowned transdisciplinary research and training institution with a strong focus on international development issues and with students and faculty from around the world. In a context in which science is often exclusively identified with the physical and life sciences, the setting of ISS was an important factor in allowing the BtSM2005 participants to appreciate the integrity of human knowledge, across the boundaries that separate historically created artificial divisions. Such boundaries become more and more a hindrance as the problems the world is facing require increasingly transdisciplinary approaches. Organizing the colloquium was part of the Learning Development Institute's TSM (The Scientific Mind) focus area of concern. The idea to organize such a meeting had existed almost since the inception of the Institute. A preliminary draft concept paper on the theme, written with a different organizational context in mind, is available on the Web site under the focus area “The Scientific Mind (TSM).
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Overview of organizational details

Dates: May 17-20, 2005 (with core proceedings concentrated from May 17 to 19, 2005)
Venue: Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands
Working language: English
Organizing entity: Learning Development Institute ( in collaboration with the Insttitute of Social Studies.
Proceedings: Publication of the bilingual proceedings is being pursued in collaboration with the Fundación Cultura de Paz.
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Partnership and sponsors

The colloquium was organized in close collaboration with the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands. It was held under the patronage of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Both UNESCO and the Institute of Social Studies also contributed to the event as sponsors, as did AcrossWorld Communications, Inc. in Santa Clara, California, USA.
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Why a meeting on Building the Scientific Mind?

There are several reasons why an Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind was timely and relevant.

First, societal efforts focusing on human development, such as through the various school systems, have long been biased towards merely making people more competent, allowing them to acquire all kinds of narrowly defined skills that can easily be measured on tests and exams. Far less attention has gone to ensuring that competent people develop the disposition to use their competencies in ways that are mindful. We thus see an increased risk that the ever greater ability of humans to intervene in their environment is insufficiently guided by the more comprehensive frames of mind humanity developed while the species evolved culturally. The referred risk becomes more threatening the greater the potential impact single individuals or small groups of people are able to have on their environment through their specific action or failure to commit to action. It is therefore important to complement the development of competence with the simultaneous development of mind. Note in this connection that learning requires conceptual as well practical experiences. The school environment tends to favor the former to the detriment the latter, leading to fragmentation rather than integration. For instance, although mathematics and philosophy are intimately related and interdependent, it appears as if they can be studied and learned without reference to each other. This affects teachers and students. The former cannot map out the richness of interrelated intellectual and practical pursuits and learners cannot link their entire experience into something approaching a holistic overview. This has profound implications for models of mind and consciousness, since learning is at the root of the definitions one can make of mind.

Second, for the purpose of this Advanced Colloquium, the mind is defined as the interconnected set of attributes of the whole person that disposition the beholder to approach his or her world in particular ways. In this context, mind is seen as an embodied process that allows humans to use language and speech to engage with the world. Humans normally entertain a variety of mindsets. The scientific mind is part of that variety. Examples of other mindsets are the artistic mind, the entrepreneurial mind, the spiritual mind, the political mind, the moral mind. People typically adopt a particular frame of mind and consider problems they encounter in the light of it. They are also able to switch between different views of the world and may at one time be inclined to view an issue in, say, a political perspective and subsequently want to address it inspired by a scientific mindset. An assumption behind the Advanced Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind is that the scientific mind provides a key perspective that in essential ways complements the various other mindsets. In other words, it is a mindset that everyone should have.

Third, an important respect in which the scientific mind has shown to be of great value can be gleaned from how the community of scientists has frequently succeeded to retain its cohesion in the face of serious divisions between large groups of nations. Developing the mindset that drives scientists to work together despite differences also in people who do not engage in formal scientific activity must be assumed to have a beneficial impact on humanity's ability to live together in harmony. I.e., the scientific mind is one of the ingredients for a more peaceful world. This is not to say that the picture is entirely rosy. Taking the functioning of the scientific community as a model, discussion should equally focus on aspects such as the involvement of scientists in, for instance, the building of weapons of mass destruction.

Fourth, economic and human development in the Third World are crucially dependent on familiarity of the population of developing countries with ways of thinking and interacting with problems that pertain to the scientific mind. Traditional school science education, based on curricula and assessment procedures that emphasize rote learning, is frequently an insufficient condition for the proper development of the scientific mind and may at times be at odds with it. Refocusing school-based learning towards attaining the various attributes of the scientific mind will be particularly relevant for the developing world.

Fifth, the development of mind, including the scientific mind, is a function of people's participation in a variety of learning contexts. The school is one of those contexts and so are the opportunities for human growth offered by, for instance, the family environment, museums, circles of interest, the broadcast media, and virtual exchanges via the Internet. In terms of societal intervention to promote human learning these environments are normally considered in isolation of each other. Moreover, the school context is often singled out as the almost exclusive area for societal intervention in human learning. However, in the context of mind development, it is important that the bigger picture be seen and thus that coherence and mutual reinforcement be sought between the various learning environments. It is equally important that a better balance be found between attention to learning in formal structured contexts and in non-formal and informal contexts that are often less structured and leave a greater role to the initiative of the learning individual.

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For all of the above reasons, the Advanced Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind aimed at impacting profoundly existing policy, practice and research in areas pertaining to building the scientific mind. More specifically, it intended to:

  1. identify important dimensions and attributes of the scientific mind, from the holistic perspective expounded above;
  2. determine the conditions that foster development of the scientific mind in multiple, both formal and informal settings;
  3. establish practical ways to improve and complement existing implicit and explicit efforts to develop the scientific mind;
  4. seek to approach the development of the scientific mind in a coherent manner, exploring the potentialities of multiple learning settings and moving beyond mere disciplinary approaches; and
  5. pave the way to innovative interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in hitherto uncharted terrain regarding the above issues.
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What was done?

The advanced Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind was organized around significant themes determined by the International Program Committee, which contemplated prospective participants' declared interests and paper proposals that progressively came in as the dates of the event approached. Following is a list of areas drawn up at an early stage to serve as attractors around which program activity could be grouped. The list turned out to serve exceedingly well for that purpose.

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Who participated?

Participation in the Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind was open to all interested, subject to registration. Costs were reduced to a minimum so as to ensure that they would not become an impediment to participation. The intimate character of the discussions during the colloquium required that the number of participants be kept limited to no more than sixty. For this first event it turned out to be possible to stay within this limit without frustrating anyone. A total of 48 people participated in the dialogue.

In addition to the process of open registration, efforts were undertaken to constitute a high-level multi-disciplinary core community through a process of targeted invitation. The members of this core community were chosen such that there would be an enhanced likelihood that the work started during the colloquium could sustain long and far beyond the actual meeting.

Besides those 48 people who actively took part in the dialogue, there were those who expressed a clear interest but who couldn't join BtSM2005 for a variety of reasons. The expression of interest on their part was such that it must be assumed that the actual BtSM community is significantly larger than the group of 48 who were present at BtSM2005. While following through on the The Hague colloquium, we will thus pursue enlarging the BtSM community. We invite those interested to make their interest known to us by writing to [email protected] with subject heading "BtSM community."

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A detailed program is available in PDF. The program was structured to ensure effective community building; balancing overall conceptual goals with specific practical concerns on the part of special interest groups; and sharing of ideas and concerns across boundaries of specific disciplines.

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The BtSM Community

Following are, in alphabetical order, members of the BtSM Community that started forming in 2005.

 Name & Affiliation  Biographical notes
Yasmina Ahmed 
I am seven years old. I liked the conference because it was about science. I like science. But I also like to draw. When I draw I can transform things. I can for instance change guys into girls simply by changing a few lines. On the first day I talked with Ron about molecules and about my microscope. I like doing experiments. I often put things inside water to find out what happens. I've also made a drawing of the inside of a tomato. At the conference I was listening to what people were saying and then I decided to make a drawing of the universe wrapped around the world. I don't know if I want to be a scientist or an artist. I like drawing, but as a scientist I would like to make potions. I already have a lot of chemicals.
John Avery
Ørsted Institute 
John Avery graduated from MIT with a BSc degree in physics and was later awarded his MSc at the University of Chicago. After working at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge England, and spending summers in the laboratory of Professor Albert Szent Györgyi at Woods Hole Massechusetts, he lectured at the Tait Institute of Mathematical Physics, Edinburgh University. He was awarded his PhD and DIC in chemistry at Imperial College (London) in 1965, where he remained until 1973, lecturing in theoretical chemistry. Between 1973 and 2003 he taught at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen, where he is now an emeritus. In 1969, he founded the Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, and served as its Managing Editor until 1980.
Other occupations: technical expert, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, 1988-1995; Contact Person for Denmark, Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, 1990-present ( (; Chairman, Danish Peace Academy (, 2003-present.
Books (author): "Quantum Theory of Atoms, Molecules and Photons" 1972, Spanish translation, 1975; "Creation and Annihilation Operators", 1976; "Hyperspherical Harmonics, Applications in Quantum Theory", 1989; "Science and Society", 1990; "Progres, Poverty and Population", 1997; "Hyperspherical Harmonics and Generalized Sturmians", 2000; "Information Theory and Evolution", 2003; "Space-Age Science and Stone-Age Politics", 2004; (editor or co-editor): "Membrane Structure and Mechanisms of Biological Energy Transduction", 1973; "Local Density Approximations", 1983; "Understanding Chemical Processes", 1987; "New Methods in Quantum Theory", 1995; "Dimensional Scaling in Chemical Physics", 1993.
Elise Boltjes
Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (Netherlands)
Elise Boltjes's physics teacher at the secondary school told her: "Physics isn't a study for girls." After a long learning traject, she studied physics anyhow. Her own experience from teaching at secondary school is: "If you teach physics in such a way that girls like it, then boys will like it too, but not vice versa." She investigated the reason why. Most investigations find only small differences in learning styles between girls and boys. However, the OECD found a extremely large difference between Dutch girls and boys in self-image with respect to their score. Girls have a lower self-image of their own capabilities than boys have. The difference in abstract intellectual capacity between girls and boys develops in the socialisation process: girls give in more easily to their uncertainty then boys do.
Elise Boltjes introduced example-based education as powerful in providing the student a maximum feeling of certainty by helping the student to accept feelings of uncertainty. Although girls possibly admit more to their uncertainty than boys do, boys also feel uncertain. Thus, both make progress while using example-based teaching. Her credo is: "You experience the most certainty by accepting your uncertainty."
Elise Boltjes teaches at the at the Technical Engineering Department as well as the Department for Science Education of the Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden (University for Professional Higher Education). In addition, she is trainer/advisor example-based education.
Ron Burnett
Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design
Ron Burnett is a Canadian communications scholar and social/cultural critic. He has a particular interest in popular culture, hypermedia, and postmodern media communities. He is the author of Cultures of Vision: Images, Media and the Imaginary, and How images think (published by MIT Press), as well as founder and editor of Ciné-Tracts Magazine (1976-1983). He is President of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Prior to that he was Director and Associate Professor of Communications and Cultural Studies in the Graduate Program in Communications at McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada. Ron received recently the Queen's Jubilee Medal for service to Canada and Canadians, is an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, Adjunct Professor at York University, Chair of the Association of Canadian Art and Design Schools of Canada, Member, Advisory Committee of the European League of Institutes of Art, and author of 150 published articles with a specialization in New Media and Digital Culture.
David Cavallo
MIT Media Lab
David Cavallo is Principal Investigator of the Future of Learning Group at the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. David's work is particularly motivated by the concern that the latent learning potential of the world population has been grossly underestimated as a result of prevailing mindsets that limit the design of interventions to improve the evolution of the global learning environment.
Louk de la Rive Box
Institute of Social Studies 
Virginia del Re 
I graduated in Classics and Oriental Studies at the University of Rome. I was influenced by my father's interests - he was a philosopher and a classicist, with a passion for languages, which I inherited, together with curiosity and a tendency to take up new -even apparently totally unrelated - things; a mixed blessing, perhaps.
In 1960 I married (too young) and went to Tehran, with a University bursary for Persian Studies. Iran was followed by two years in West Africa. The close contact with different cultures and the exposure to the realities of poverty and disease left a strong mark: I became simply and forever unable to look at things from a merely 'European' perspective. Years later I found that I had known exactly what the word Eurocentrism meant long before it became fashionable …
Back in Italy (Rome), with a family, my beloved oriental studies had to be left, and I started teaching English in Secondary State Schools. Linguistics and the way one learns -- and teaches -- new languages, new words and new ways of describing the world fascinated me. So, I worked on teachers' training courses and research projects in TFL, in Sheffield, and Viterbo. For the Dept. of English in Pisa, my home now, I gave courses and seminars on Historical Semantics, The Lexicon, etc.
I have accepted that the course of my life has largely been determined by my being a woman. In spite of progress in the West in that respect, prospects are still bleak for many millions of women. Women's rights and gender issues have thus become my central activity now; I am vice-president of the 'Associazione Casa della Donna' di Pisa, and coordinator of the Women's Associations Network of the Provincia di Pisa. I am currently working hard on "Women's Rights and Multiculturalism" a long term project which will focus successively on India, China and Eastern Europe.
I have managed, in spite of it all, to keep my interests in oriental studies alive: Most recent in this line is my Persia Mystica: poeti sufi dell'età classica (Edizioni ETS, Pisa, 2004), which is unexpectedly proving a small 'success'!
Other publications include 'In their Own Words', a multicultural anthology; Teaching Development Issues, translations, etc. For my reading group "La Luna" I have contributed essays and seminars (On the Writing of Diaries, Meeting the Other: Nadine Gordimer, Agota Kristof 'The Trilogy of K', etc.).
Marten de Vries 
Maastricht University
Marten de Vries is currently
  • Professor of Social Psychiatry at Maastricht University, the Netherlands
  • Chairman of the Center for Public Mental Health (CPMH)
  • Co-Chair of the International Business Roundtable on Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Founder Mind Media Group
Dr. deVries spent the past decade working with the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) as a Board Member, Secretary General and President. WFMH is the largest international Non-Governmental-Agency (NGO) in Mental Health promoting policy, services and prevention in more than 150 countries around the world. He also has a substantial consulting experience from across public and private sectors and is frequently consulted by government and inter-government agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and United Nations (UN). He has extensive operational experience from Europe, the Americas, East Africa and Asia. Moreover, he has worked closely with media professionals and business leaders around the world on distance education projects, film production and the development of business round tables. Dr. deVries has received a number of awards for his work including the Benjamin Rush Award in the US and the Odegard Award in Oslo, Norway, in 1992, for his contribution to the understanding of the experience and ecology of mental disorders.
Dr. deVries is an internationally known scholar and investigator. He was educated in medicine, psychiatry and anthropology at the Harvard Medical School and the University of Rochester. He has been particularly interested in the experience of mental illness and the interaction of individual and group behaviour within the social cultural contexts. He has been an active participant in setting up mental health projects globally, including the urban poor in Boston, the American Indians in New York, the psycho-social care of refugees and traumatised populations and in helping establish African and Asian Mental Health programmes for the disadvantaged. He has served on the international boards of 16 journals as well as committees that advise on public mental health and he has published over 150 scientific articles, lectures, and books.
The impact of today's global mental health need on business and economic performance is enormous. An appropriate response to what the UN has called an "unheralded crisis in public health" requires a concerted effort across the public and private sector in which media and business have a crucial role to play. Accordingly, Dr. Marten W. deVries left his role as Secretary General of the World Federation for Mental Health in 2001 to found the Mental Health Media Project in Center for Public Mental Health.
Lynn Dierking
Institute for Learning Innovation 
Dr. Lynn D. Dierking is internationally recognized for her research on the behavior and learning of children, families and adults in free-choice learning settings and has published and spoken extensively in these areas. She possesses a Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of Florida, Gainesville and her research priorities include: the long-term impact of free-choice learning experiences on individuals and families and the development and evaluation of community-based programs. Over the last 20 years Dr. Dierking has worked in a variety of settings, including: the Smithsonian Office of Educational Research, University of Maryland 's College of Education and as director of a national curriculum project, Science in American Life, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Her publications include four books co-authored with John Falk, The Museum Experience (Whalesback Books, 1992), Collaboration: Critical Criteria for Success (Association of Science-Technology Centers, 1997), Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning (AltaMira, 2000) and Lessons without Limit: How Free-Choice Learning is Transforming Education (AltaMira, 2002); and one book co-authored with Wendy Pollack, Questioning Assumptions: An Introduction to Front-End Studies in Museums (Association of Science-Technology Centers, 1998). She also co-edited a volume with John Falk, Public Institutions for Personal Learning: Establishing a Research Agenda. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Science Education and the Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship.
Laura Durnford 
Radio Netherlands
Laura Durnford is the producer and presenter of a weekly, half-hour science programme that's broadcast around the world, in English, by Radio Netherlands, the Dutch international broadcasting service. This programme, 'The Research File', covers 'science' in broad terms, including archaeology, health and medicine, environment and nature as well as many other areas. In addition, Laura produces documentaries on non-science subjects, with past projects investigating the history of the past international trade in ice, many aspects to do with boardgames, the Dutch legacy in up-state New York, 40 years of 'the pill' in the Netherlands and whether or not lab samples of the smallpox virus should be destroyed. She also writes reports based on her radio work for the RN website. Laura has been with RN since 1998. Before that she worked as a freelance radio producer in London, primarily with the BBC World Service science unit and with an independent company reporting on developments in specialist areas of medicine for a specialist audience. She has also 'lectured' in communication skills for technical presentations at Imperial College, London, where she herself completed a MSc in Science Communication in 1995. This followed a BSc in Applied Biology from the John Moores University in Liverpool, UK. Laura has also worked as a caterer, a children's face-painter and zoo-keeper, among other things.
Peter Eisenberger
Columbia University 
Peter Eisenberger received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in Applied Physics. His physics research at Bell Laboratories, Exxon Research and Engineering and Princeton University was in using x-rays to probe the properties of materials, including biological and self assembled thin films. He joined Columbia in 1996 as the Founding Director of the Earth Institue and Director of the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory. He is currently a Professor in Earth and Environmental Sciences where he is doing research on a knowledge based approach to human co-evolution with the planet. He is also involved in developing a new science center that will utilize new approaches to learning.
John Falk
Institute for Learning Innovation 
Dr. John Falk worked at the Smithsonian Institution for fourteen years where he held a number of senior positions including: Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Research; Director, Smithsonian Office of Educational Research; and Associate Director for Education, Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies. He earned a joint doctorate in Biology and Education from the University of California, Berkeley . He is the author of over ninety scholarly articles and chapters in the areas of biology, psychology and education, co-author with Lynn Dierking of The Museum Experience, Learning from Museums: Visitor experiences and the making of meaning and Lessons without Limit: How free-choice learning is transforming education, and editor of Free-Choice Science Education: How we learn science outside of school. He is also author/editor of numerous science educational materials and books including Bubble Monster and other Science Fun, Bite Sized Science and the Smithsonian Science Activity Books (Volumes 1-3). Research priorities include the study of learning in free-choice learning settings (with particular expertise in museums), the long-term impact of free-choice educational institutions on individuals and communities, and investigating new business models for museums and other cultural institutions.
Zahara Girones
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 
Paul Grobstein
Bryn Mawr College 
Paul Grobstein is a neurobiologist, educator, and parent with a life-long interest in understanding why people behave the way they do, and how they can continually expand their capabilities. In recent years, he has devoted most of his time to thinking and writing about the implications of current and anticipated understandings of the brain, of biology, and of complex systems for a variety of practical and philosophical issues, including mental health, child-rearing, education, cultural change, community development, and forms of human understanding. He is also an active explorer of opportunities being made available by the development of computing technology and of the internet and the web. Current positions include:
  • Eleanor A. Bliss Professor of Biology at Bryn Mawr College,
  • director of the College's Center for Science in Society (, and
  • co-founder of the Serendip website (
For further information see
Chide Groenouwe
Network Universalis and Free University Amsterdam 
Chide Groenouwe (the Netherlands) is founder of Network Universalis (, a nascent learning community that aims at exploring the process and outcome of functioning as a defragmented learning organization. In the preparation-phase of the organization, he came into contact with the Learning Development Institute (LDI) through its founder, Jan Visser. This led to his affiliation with LDI. "Network Universalis" - as the name of the organization suggests - is in a sense a collective homo universal, mimicking a homo universalis with a group of people. As such, one can classify Network Universalis as an actualization of the new types of learning communities envisioned by Visser. Network Universalis strives to enable the defragmentation of knowledge, the integration of human roles, and the integration of different dimensions of human creativity, not only outside its borders, but also within its own borders. Thus it derives its activity from a broader, integrated, more meaningful context, while fostering a more personal context, too. Network Universalis is now preparing a project-proposal - the Collective Scientific Mind Initiative - that could be part of The Scientific Mind project.
In chronological order, Chide studied mathematical logic (University of Twente and Nijmegen), worked as computer-technology teacher (Hogeschool van Utrecht), and did research together with Ronny Siebes (Free University Amsterdam) in the field of knowledge technology. He will soon begin his doctoral studies in the fascinating area of electronically enhanced science at the Free University of Amsterdam. In his spare time he practices piano (especially latin and classic), martial arts and gymnastics, learns Spanish and supports young refugees in their (computer) education.
See also
Matthew Jukes
Imperial College London School of Medicine 
Matthew Jukes's first degree was in physics. After a PhD in Developmental Psychology at Oxford University, he joined the Partnership for Child Development at Imperial College London. His research there is conducted in low-income countries and addresses the impact of ill-health (malaria, iron deficiency anaemia, helminth infection) on cognitive development and schooling; behavioral responses to school-based HIV/AIDS education programs; psychosocial development of children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS; and factors influencing primary school enrolment and drop-out. Current projects are in Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Gambia, Zambia and India.
Christopher Kolar
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 
Peter Lavender
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education  
Dr Peter Lavender is the Director for Research and Development at the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) for England and Wales. Peter's doctorate was in social policy, volunteering and adult learning. He has been a school teacher, adult education organiser and college inspector. He co-wrote the committee of enquiry report, Inclusive Learning (HMSO, 1996), an investigation into provision for adults and young people with disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health problems. Peter is a board member of the Basic Skills Agency and a member o the UK's UNESCO education committee. At NIACE Peter's portfolio includes literacy, language and numeracy; health improvement and learning; disability and mental health and learning. See  
Gilles Lavigne
Universidad Autónoma de Baja California 
Since 2003, Gilles Lavigne is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo Educativo, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (México). Before, he was a full professor for 22 years at the Télé-université, Université du Québec (Canada), splitting his time up into developing distance courses, managing the Research and Graduate Studies Division and, for 12 years, acting in the field of International Cooperation and Development. Even though his training (Philosophy, Anthropology, and Urban Studies) steered him towards Urban Studies in which field he has published a number of books, chapters and articles, he gradually devoted himself to Distance Education as prime interest. Living now in an emerging country, but with a northerner's experience (and mind?), he has to cope with the various gaps between North and South. Facing problems new for him, such as the low number of PhD holders in his adoptive country, he is working on the educational problem consisting in training of graduate students, especially training them to do research, in order to develop virtual educational tools to facilitate such training.
Leon Lederman
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Leon M. Lederman is an experimental physicist who received the 1988 Nobel Prize for his part in developing the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino. Since retiring from his function as Director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, he has dedicated his efforts to helping others to discover the beauty of the world through science. Thus he helped organize a Teachers' Academy for Mathematics and Science, designed to retrain 20 000 primary school teachers in the Chicago Public Schools in the art of teaching science and mathematics. In addition, he has been involved with science education for gifted children and with public understanding of science. He helped to found the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a three year residential public school for gifted children in the State of Illinois. He also founded ARISE, a program to modernize the teaching of science in high schools.
Dawood Mamoon
Institute of Social Studies 
Dawood Mamoon is Royal Netherlands Fellow at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, pursuing his Doctorate in Economics for Sustainable Development. His topic is 'Trade, Poverty and Inequality' whereby he is trying to find ways to align growth strategies with pro poor outcomes. Previously he has obtained his MA degree in Development Studies as well as his M.Phil and Msc degrees in Economics.
He has written extensively on the political economy of South Asia in international megazines like Asia Times and South Asia Tribune. Dawood Mamoon has also analysed the role of education in economic development. His recent research has shown that human capital is the key for the development in the South as well as ensures welfare friendly outcomes of processes of globalisation. Recently he has been part of an expert meeting to develop future strategies for The Netherlands regarding International Cooperation in Higher Education.
He has also been associated directly with the education sector in 2002 when he taught Economics to M.Sc and M.Phil students at Islamabad University, Pakistan, as a permanent faculty memeber. He is also a visiting fellow at the Sustainable Development Institute Pakistan as well as given consultancy to the Institute of Electoral Studies (IES), Pakistan.
Federico Mayor
Culture of Peace Foundation & Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Federico Mayor Zaragosa is a biochemist of renown, whose publications focus, among other areas, on the metabolism of the brain and the biochemical processes and pathology of the newly born. He founded and directed the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Federico is also a poet, a thinker and one of the great humanists of our time. He served as Director-General of UNESCO from 1987 to 1999. Much of his attention during that period was directed at leading the Organization back to its original roots, namely its role in fomenting a culture of peace, promoting tolerance and understanding among the peoples. As part of this objective he took great care to advance human learning in its rich variety of appearances among all members of planetary society. Following an effective two mandates at the helm of UNESCO, he subsequently founded and presides over the Fundación Cultura de Paz, headquartered in Madrid, Spain.
Roy McWeeny
University of Pisa
Roy McWeeny grew up in a small industrial town in the north of England, during the 1920's and 1930's. At an early age he had to decide between Fine Art and Physics, choosing Physics but keeping a lifelong interest in painting and sculpture. He has degrees from Leeds and Oxford, where he developed his interests in mathematical physics and quantum theory. After 35 years of university teaching (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry), he moved to a Chair in Italy, where he is now Professore Emerito di Chimica Teorica, University of Pisa. He has held visiting appointments in many European Universities (in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden); also in India, Israel, Japan and the USA.
The first of his many books was "Symmetry - An Introduction to Group Theory" (1963), which became a `classic' and was reprinted (2001) by Dover Publications. He has a passionate interest in teaching and a strongly `pictorial' imagination - believing that difficult and abstruse concepts can usually be conveyed through visual images. At present he is editing (and writing for) "WorkBooks in Science", a series of modules aimed at people with limited formal education: the books will be available gratis on the Internet. His other publications include about 150 research papers, mainly in the area of molecular physics and quantum chemistry. He was elected (1973) to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science; and (1987) to the European Academy of Arts, Sciences and the Humanities. One regret - that there was never more time for the Arts, for working with clay or wood or stone, which once gave so much pleasure.
Paula Monjane
Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade 
Paula Monjane's first degree was in physics. Her Master degree was in Development Studies at Institute of Social Studies, in The Hague, The Netherlands. For more than 10 years she has been working in Monitoring, Evaluation and social research for Population Services International (PSI) and The Foundation for Community Development (FDC) in Mozambique. Currently she is directing the establishment of a Knowledge Management Centre at FDC, as part of the organization's effort to apply the existing best practices from inside the organization as well as from a network of implementing partners and other partners in a continuous learning process. Her major areas of interest and fields of specialization are: Social and political aspects of HIV/AIDS, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and Participatory Rural Development.
Sailaja Nandigama
Institute of Social Studies 
Sailaja Nandigama is an NFP fellow ( Netherlands fellowship Programme 2003-07) at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), persuing her 3rd year Ph.D on"Community Involvement in Conservation: Grassroots level negotiations between actor-networks in CFM, AP-India". Her study is about the political ecology of the indigenous communities’ involvement in conservation of the forest resources through Community Forest Management (CFM) in a village, in Andhra Pradesh, India. The objective of her study is to capture the grassroots level negotiations and interfaces between the principal actors in CFM (state of Andhra Pradesh, indigenous communities, and other non-governmental actors), in order to reflect on the relative transformations in their power positions. Village level forest protection committees (Vana Samrakshana Samithi-VSS) consisting of the indigenous communities and the local governmental and non-governmental institutions as the principal actors in the conservation process, form the main case for evaluation. Multiple units of study are used: at village, at VSS, at inter-household level of the community involved in conservation of forest through CFM. In short, her study tries to capture how CFM intervention is manipulated by the local level negotiations and actor- networks for their short term and long term advantages, and what are new developments that occur in the power balance at the grasssroots level due to the same.
Sailaja did her MA & M.Phil in Political Science from University of Hyderabad (HCU), a central university of India, a leading research centre for policy based studies. She has been into interdisciplinery social science research for the past 8 years of her career as a researcher and academician. Her major areas of specialisation and research interests include: Public Policy Analysis; Political Economy; Human Rights (special focus on Child rights); Participatory Rural Development; Natural Resource Management; Environmental Politics and Gender; and Qualitative Research Methodology.
Apart from presenting papers on child rights at National Human Rights Conventions in India, she has worked as a senior researcher in a New Delhi based leading consultancy/ NGO, Centre for Media Studies(CMS). She also worked as a lecturer in Political Science, teaching graduate students in the above mentioned desciplines. Owing to her extensive field experience in a developing country like India, in various social science desciplines, she proposes that the local knowledges and the local practices are the major entities for the Scientific Mind to incorporate, in order to broaden the spectrum of scientific knowledge in a globalised world.
Corina Negrea
Radio Romania 
Kathy Nielsen
Through participant-observation and historical analysis of physicists’ and martial artists’ published commentaries on their own disciplines, Kathy Nielsen has examined embodied practices of approaching technique as a means for discovery. Her dissertation considered the visible and invisible ways that physicists and martial artists employ technique in the development, refinement, and transmission of knowledge. It also explored the underpinnings of their rhetorical strategies for justifying weapons research. Her current projects include participating in the collaborative development of digital archives and cohort oral histories for the KEK high energy physics laboratory and other Sokendai national research institutes in Japan. 
Evgeny Patarakin
Program Systems Institute Russian Academy of Science
Evgeny Patarakin lives in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Starting work as biologist and microbiologist he continued his professional growth in the field of computer science and computer education and became the head of a Laboratory in the Program Systems Institute of the Russian Academy of Science. His teaching and research are primarily in the area of network communities and social interaction. He is author of "Network Community and Learning" (in Russian). More information about him can be found at and
Vimla Patel
Columbia University 
Vimla L. Patel is Professor of biomedical informatics and of psychiatry at Columbia University and adjunct professor of psychology and education at Columbia Teachers' College in New York City. She is the director of the Laboratory of Decision Making and Cognition in biomedical informatics. An elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and also of the American College of Medical Informatics, she was recipient of the annual Swedish "Woman of Science" award in 1999. She received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada in 1998 and became the fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2004. Her research interests include cognitive models of reasoning and decision making by lay people and by experts, qualitative assessment of medical errors for patient safety, cognitive evaluation of learning, and human-computer interaction in health care domains. She adapted methods and theories from cognitive science to address long-standing problems in competent performance in the workplace and learning, and to research that provides a scientific foundation for medical and health education, particularly in medical decision-making. She has worked as a consultant to the World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, USAID as well as to the foundations such as the James S. MacDonnell and Rockefeller Foundations on studies in the developing countries. She has over 200 journal publications and is on the editorial board of Informatics and Health Science journals. 
Tjeerd Plomp
Twente University 
Bill Rogoza
Northern Ontario Native Tourism Association 
Bill Rogoza is the General Manager of the Northern Ontario Native Tourism Association (NONTA) located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. He works under the direction of a Native Board of Directors from across Northern Ontario.
Bill has been active in the industry for the last 20 years and has worked in the Northwest Territories (now called NUNAVUT) and Northern Ontario
developing package tours, training, marketing, and community awareness programs.
He coordinates two separate marketing programs one that deals exclusively with US anglers from an office in Chicago and another that deals with Aboriginal culture or an eco-tourism program out of Thunder Bay. He has been on travel trade missions to France, Germany and Belgium.
Bill enjoys travelling, computer gaming, and scuba diving.
Christina Rogoza
Nova Southeastern University 
Christina Rogoza is a doctoral student in Instructional Technology and Distance Education at Nova Southeastern University in Miami, Florida. She completed her Masters in Continuing Education specializing in Workplace Learning from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
She currently works as an Instructional Design Specialist with a background in curriculum writing. She has served as a sessional lecturer in the School of Business at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. In addition, she has ten years in developing training for the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.
She is a certified Yoga instructor and enjoys traveling
Nicholas Rogoza
Queen's University 

Eric Ross 
Institute of Social Studies
Eric Ross is a Senior Lecturer in the Population, Poverty & Social Development specialization of the MA in Development Studies at the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague) He received his BA in anthropology in 1968 from the University of Pennsylvania and his MPhil and PhD in anthropology in 1976 from Columbia University. His doctoral research was conducted among the previously unstudied Peruvian Achuarä, a sub-group of the so-called Jívaro Indians of the Upper Amazon. His research focused on the ecology of tropical forest subsistence and warfare and resulted in the seminal paper in Current Anthropology (1978), "Food Taboos, Diet and Hunting Strategy: The Adaptation to Animals in Amazon Cultural Ecology." Having specialized in medical anthropology, he had a post-doctoral fellowship in epidemiology at the School of Public Health at Columbia. Still interested in health issues and a former member of the steering committee of the Public Health Alliance in the UK, much of his subsequent work has nevertheless concentrated on the political, economic and ecological conditions that shape dietary patterns, but with increasing concern with complex socio-economic systems, the dietary consequences of colonialism and the nature of food systems within the framework of contemporary globalisation. As such, he has written about food production and agrarian change in Colombia, Mexico, South and Southeast Asia and Kenya. One result of his long-term interest in food in comparative and historical perspective was the landmark work, Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits (1987), co-edited with the late Marvin Harris. His work in the field of anthropological demography produced the equally notable book, Death, Sex and Fertility: Population Regulation in Preindustrial and Developing Societies (1987), co-authored with Harris. Since then, he has published articles in a wide range of journals, including Current Anthropology, BioScience and the Review of Radical Political Economics, that have collectively represented an unprecedented and sustained critique of Malthusian interpretations of poverty and underdevelopment, culminating in the influential book, The Malthus Factor: Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development (1998). Eric Ross remains a leading, if critical proponent of the anthropological school known as cultural materialism and his edited volume, Beyond the Myths of Culture (1980), remains a watershed work in that theoretical tradition. 
Gordon Rowland
Ithaca College
Gordon Rowland is Professor and Chair of the Department of Organizational Communication, Learing, and Design (OCLD) at Ithaca College. OCLD is a unique interdisciplinary program, easiest to understand by reversing the words in the name: it is about designing the systems and strategies that people use to learn and communicate in organizations. He will switch hats in August to become chair of the graduate program in communications. His teaching and research are primarily in the areas social systems design, design education, and workplace learning and performance. He is author of A tripartite seed: The future creating capacity of designing, learning, and systems, and co-author of Creating the future: If we don't do it, who will? (
Ronny Siebes
Free University Amsterdam
Ronny Siebes is a Ph.D. student in Artificial Intelligence at the Free
University of Amsterdam where he works in the Knowledge Representation
and Reasoning Group. He has a particular interest in probabilistic
reasoning (automated reasoning that is able to deal with contradictions
and opinions) and automated expertise clustering (clustering people
and/or systems with similar interests and expertise, without centralized
control). Especially the latter is in his viewpoint an important building
block for the Scientific Mind because it needs a mechanism that prevents
censoring information. Ronny's work is currently specifically motivated
by his concern that people are still ignorant on many important topics
like Animal Rights. Information systems should be an efficient and
effective extended memory of the brain, so that at least no-one can say
"Ich habe es nicht gewusst."
Walter Staveloz
Diana Stirling
Diana lives in the Sonoran Desert, in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Her life is infused with a sense of home - the intensity of sky, dry wind, birdsong, heat and space. Diana has a BFA in dance, creative writing and studio art, and an MA in education. She has taught a variety of subjects, including American Sign Language, English, art and algebra, to students of all ages and from many different countries. Her particular interests include complexity theory and its potential application to the study of learning in the individual, ideas about how to create dynamic, individualized, computer mediated learning experiences, and ways to support self-directed learning through free access to information. She is also a painter.
Jaap Swart
JOTA Foundation 
Jaap grew up in the Netherlands Antilles. Born 26 February 1942 on Curaçao he moved to The Netherlands in 1957 to finish his Dutch secondary education, which was capped with a year in Campbell/California where he attended high school as an AFS exchange student. Back in The Netherlands he studied Cultural Anthropology and Social Geography at the University of Amsterdam. In 1968 he returned to Curaçao and became geography teacher at Peter Stuyvesant College (PSC) one of the island's secondary schools. During his 8 years in Curaçao he was active in various functions of the educational system, a.o. : member of resp. the Board of Directors of PSC, the Board of Governors of the Pedagogical Academy, the Board of various Teacher Unions. The Netherlands Antilles had experienced fierce social change after the SHELL began to reduce its vast social involvement which later led to a complete break. On 29 May 1969 a strike related to SHELL's withdrawal policy caused a major upheaval leading to profound social, cultural, political and economical change. For Jaap as a Curaçao born cultural anthropologist this process of change provided a fascinating experience. In 1976 he moved to The Netherlands and became General Manager of Radio Nederland Training Centre (RNTC), the institute for international education representing the Netherlands in the field of media facilitated communication for education and development. The development of RNTC implied scores of projects in Asia, Africa, Latin America, The Caribbean and Europe, providing Jaap intense involvement with co-operation, participation and observation in the change processes resulting from international cooperation. Turning sixty in 2002 he chose retirement after leading RNTC for 25 years, because he wanted to devote time to those aspects of media facilitated communication that interest him most. He is now chairman of JOTA, a foundation aiming to give children and adolescents real access to the communicative potential of the media and the performing arts facilitating their active and responsible participation in the relevant processes of their societies and cultures. In addition he is involved with the initiative of Prof.dr.Marten de Vries, a social psychiatrist of the University of Maastricht, who seeks to muster the great potential of the media to meet the surge of mental health problems confronting the world community. His special relationship with the Caribbean has led Jaap to be involved with activities in Surinam, The Netherlands Antilles and Haiti, all involving his concern for the young, children and adolescents, to have their rightful chance to live a meaningful life and to foster their positive talents.
Ralf Syring
Terre des Hommes, Mozambique
Ralf Syring, Regional Coordinator Southern Africa for Terre des Hommes, Maputo (Mozambique) After studies of theology and social sciences (in German and Dutch universities) and working as a teacher at vocational schools, study of medicine and later specialization as pediatrician. Clinical experience mainly in neonatology, first contact with HIV-positive patients in a hospital in Hamburg. Medical work during the war in El Salvador in the context of the liberation movement; at the same time contributions to building a community based primary health care system and training of rural population in basic medical care and prevention. Since 1995 with a short interruption in Southern Africa, most of that time in Angola as the representative of the Frankfurt based NGO "Medico International", one of the two founders of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Experience in Angola concentrated on work with survivors of mine accidents in a community context and on the demobilization of child soldiers. During that time training in psycho-traumatology. Work at this moment is related to the whole Southern African region and concentrates on traumatized children and children affected by the HIV-pandemic. The confrontation with failing prevention interventions against HIV caused a strong interest in research about how to address people with a message about HIV, which takes their cultural and social interpretation of reality serious. 
Mohsen Tawfik
UNESCO, India 
Mohsen Tawfik is a trans-disciplinarian by nature. His interest and work included engineering, natural and social science, literature and music. He's also a transcontinental resident with 8.5 years in Moscow, 7 years in Paris, 4 years in New Delhi and the rest in Cairo and other cities. He visited and interacted with people in more than 70 countries all over the world. He is a university professor (what he likes most) but worked as a diplomat, international civil servant and knowledge and intellectual activist. As an Egyptian he considers himself a son of the Ancient Egyptian, Islamic and Contemporary Civilizations.
He got his B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc degrees in Cairo and Ph.D in Moscow (under the world known V A Venikov). After his graduation at Ain Shams University in Cairo in 1966 he joined the Faculty, where he got his tenure as a Professor in 1985. During the period from 1986 to 1994 he established and served as Director-Founder of a unique multidisciplinary post-graduate institute in his university, two research centers in Cairo for Education and Higher Education Reform and the "Think Tank of the G77" in UNESCO.
He has served twice as a diplomat: from 1981 to 1986 as Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of Egypt and Director of the Egyptian Scientific Mission and Cultural Bureau in Moscow; and from 1994 to 1997 as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Delegate of Egypt to UNESCO. He has represented his country at many Global events and UN conferences.
Mohsen Tawfik has chaired many international programs; e.g. the Intergovernmental Council of the General Information Program1996-1997; Working Groups on the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy and Program and Budget1994-1997; International Committee of Experts, the IBE International Conference on Education, Geneva 1996; Commission I at the 28th session of the General Conference of UNESCO1995; the Executive Committee on Safeguarding of Moenjodaro; UNESCO "International Consultation Meeting on Environmental Ethics" (1991).
He is the author of several books and tens of studies and articles in the fields of sustainable development and new technologies, environment, and e-learning. He is also the author of 30 scientific papers in the field of electrical and control engineering, his specialization, published internationally.
Mohsen Tawfik joined UNESCO in 1998 as a Senior Director at UNESCO HQ in Paris. He took charge as UNESCO Representative and Director of the Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Communication and Information in New Delhi in July 2001.
Bruno Valfrey
Learning Development Institute 
My scientific career began with an experimental phase. At 8, I caught a fantastic flu by staying out in the cold until 3:00 AM to watch the moon with a pair of binoculars. At 10, I set up a chemistry lab in my closet (discovered after 3 months). At 12, I burnt the ceiling by inflaming a pot full of phosphorus patiently obtained from chopping the tops of a few hundreds matches. Tired of this experimental phase (and of my parents' skepticism about the interest of such an approach - not to say their strong disapproval of some episodes), I decided to limit myself to theory and - the French educational system being French - I became an engineer. Between 18 and 20 I almost became a victim of the incapacity of my teachers to consider science as a source of fun and learning as a source of satisfaction. My salvation came from a physics teacher who was fond of Feynman and probably had most of Feyman's teaching skills. At the engineering school I very much enjoyed the elegance of quantum physics and the beauty of Navier-Stokes' equations (it was an aeronautical engineering school). My professional life is now focused on access to basic public services in developing countries, but I continue to be fascinated by science as a human production and by the challenge of popularising it. As a simple citizen, I am also very much concerned by the misuse of science in the field of politics, as well as by the fact that a whole generation seems to stray from science, depriving itself of the most fantastic tool for understanding the world around us - and also depriving itself of the most beautiful way of dreaming.
Tania Vergnani
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Dr. Tania Vergnani is originally from Cape Town. She is a registered clinical psychologist with a Masters Degree from the University of the Western Cape, as well as a second Masters Degree in Sociology from Freiburg University in Germany. Her PhD, granted by UCT in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, focused on factors affecting adolescent condom use. She has been at UWC since 1991 as a senior lecturer in the faculty of education.
Dr. Vergnani's academic passions revolve around teaching life skills and HIV/AIDS education, counseling, care and support, as well as training other educators. She has authored a number of life skills textbooks as well as teacher training manuals for sexuality education. Dr. Vergnani has acted as director of the HIV/AIDS Programme since 2001. She seeks to help guide the programme and the University towards creating a model response to the epidemic that incorporates teaching, research, prevention, care, support and treatment, management, advocacy and community outreach.
Jan Visser
Learning Development Institute
Jan Visser is a theoretical physicist, turned educator, turned documentary filmmaker, turned instructional designer and researcher of human learning. He has a profound interest in the arts and is a practicing musician. As a physicist he dedicated himself to exploring the quantum mechanical aspects of molecular biological structures; as a documentary filmmaker his interest was drawn to the role of imagination in children's (and adults') coming to grips with the seemingly unalterable facts of life; as a science educator he explored developing the scientific mind through the understanding of the historical and epistemological development of science as well as the experiential involvement with natural phenomena; as an instructional designer he dedicated himself to the exploration and management within the learning environment of affective conditions, whereas as a learning scientist his attention goes to human learning as a complex adaptive phenomenon. Jan is president of the Learning Development Institute and former UNESCO Director for Learning Without Frontiers. He has lived and worked around the world, including residing for some 20 years in Africa.
Lya Visser
Learning Development Institute 
Lya Visser holds a Ph.D. in Educational Science and Technology from the University of Twente, The Netherlands. Lya has a profound interest in teaching and learning and has done research in the areas of motivation and communication. Her long-standing experience as a distance learner and facilitator have contributed considerably to being a successful and caring distance educator.
Lya has worked as a faculty member at universities in Mozambique and in the United States. As an international consultant she is active in many different countries and often under challenging circumstances. Lya is on the editorial board of the Quarterly Review of Distance Education and heads the section for foreign contributions. In addition, she is the editor of the forthcoming volume entitled: The history of distance education – International Perspectives. Lya is also co-editor of a forthcoming book: Trends and Issues in Distance Education-International Perspectives which is due to be published in June 2005. Last but not least, she is the Director of Training with the Learning Development Institute.
Muriel Visser
Learning Development Institute
Muriel Visser has an academic background in rural sociology (Wageningen University, Netherlands), distance education (MA - University of London and Educational Extension College, Cambridge, UK), and mass communication (Ph.D. - Florida State University). Her professional experience has focused on the design and management of international development projects, particularly in Africa and more recently on supporting education systems in developing an effective response to the threat of HIV/AIDS. Muriel's current research interests focus on promoting human learning and change within the wider context of development, in particular as it relates to living with HIV and AIDS. Recent research projects have included mapping teachers' perceptions about HIV/AIDS, analyzing African media portrayal of HIV/AIDS issues, and understanding factors that influence teachers' willingness to talk about HIV/AIDS in school and communities. In the context of her research Muriel is also actively engaged with asking herself questions regarding research methodological issues (particularly how we best get to know what we want to know in non-traditional research settings). Muriel is associated with the Learning Development Institute as a researcher. For more about these projects see:
Yusra Laila Visser
Learning Development Institute & Florida Atlantic University
Yusra Visser spent the first 18 years of her life in southeast Africa, learning much from growing up amidst the wonders and the difficulties of postcolonial states, witnessing both the splendor of the diversity of lifestyles and cultures in those regions and the ravaging effects of war, poverty, and disease. During this time she learned about the values of a solid education as well as the importance of political action and consciousness, about social service, and about the use of systematic inquiry for interpreting the attributes of the surrounding world. Those early experiences set the stage for some of her later choices, such as her specialization in Africa Studies and Political Economy while doing her undergraduate work at American University in Washington, DC, and her later focus on instruction for problem solving during her graduate work at Florida State University. Yusra is vice-president of the Learning Development Institute, as well as Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Florida Atlantic University. Her research agenda is housed under the theme "simple solutions for complex problems", and seeks to identify low-cost, replicable educational interventions for human development. More information about her can be found at and
Wambui Rose Wamuthenya
Institute of Social Studies 
I am currently working on my PhD thesis since May 2002. My academic background (undergraduate and graduate) is economics.
Research Topic: Employment, Incomes, Female Labor Force Participation Rates and Poverty in the context of an Economic Crisis in the Urban Areas of Kenya.
Areas of Intererest: Poverty, Labor Economics, Feminist Economics, Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methodologies, Analysis of Household and Labor Force Survey Data, Urban Livelihoods, Migration, Gender Analysis, Unemployment and Education.
Before embarking on the Doctorate I worked in an international environment as a Research Officer with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC-headquarter in Ottawa) at the regional office for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO) based in Nairobi.
I am a member (researcher) of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC-based in Africa) network and a member of the International Association For Feminist Economists (IAFFE-based in Washington DC).
Cheryl Vince Whitman 
Education Development Center
Cheryl Vince Whitman is a senior vice president at Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), an international non-profit organization with approximately 1000 staff and over 20 offices worldwide. EDC applies research and educational strategies to address social challenges in health, education and youth employment. Ms. Vince Whitman also directs the division of Health and Human Development Programs (HHD) at EDC, a World Health Organization Collaborating Center, which promotes healthy, safe behaviors and environments where people live, learn and work. HHD's research and program development focus on: mental health promotion and prevention of disorders, especially suicide and violent behaviors; HIV/AIDS, alcohol and other drug prevention; nutrition and obesity and the interrelationships among them. Ms. Vince Whitman has led the development of HHD's global work in HIV/AIDS, developing initiatives in prevention, intervention and care of orphans and vulnerable children, especially in the Caribbean, Southern Africa, and Southeast Asia. With UNESCO Caribbean, she is presently developing an advocacy campaign aimed at deepening the education sector response to HIV/AIDS. Her academic training is in education and psychology, with core courses in entrepreneurship within a Masters of Business Administration program.
John R. Whitman 
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
John R. Whitman is a PhD candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He is exploring the roles and evaluation of philanthropic foundations as global agents of social change, focusing on foundations in Canada, the US, and Europe. Mr. Whitman has had careers in international environmental education, the international software industry, and survey research, specializing in measuring expectations and attitudes of service delivery. With Peter Hernon, he co-authored Delivering Satisfaction and Service Quality: A customer-based approach for libraries, published by the American Library Association (2001). He received his master's degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and his bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Boston University. He is a member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the American Evaluation Association, the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA). Mr. Whitman's email address is [email protected] and his academic web site is 
Abraham Zalzman
INESTED, Venezuela
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Intellectual Contributions by BtSM Community Members
Here we provide links to (draft) papers, PowerPoint slide shows, and other inputs to the BtSM2005 colloquium by different participants. They are offered at this stage as a provisional facility - not for citation - so that colloquium attendees can have access to what was available at the time the colloquium took place. Many of these inputs will still be re-elaborated by their authors. We envision publishing edited proceedings based on these various contributions and will thus update the material offered on this Web page over time.
We have included sound files of all plenary sessions, both presentations and discussions. The links to the sound files appear in bold. Sound files are large and will thus take time to download (some may take several minutes, even on a broadband connection and considerably longer via a dial-up connection). Your best approach to downloading will be to right-click on the link and then choose 'save target as' to save the file to your desktop or any directory of your choice before listening to it. Sound files are in the MP3 format and are thus compatible with most audio players. All recordings are in stereo. It will thus be of help to use headphones when listening to the discussion sessions so as to better separate the different voices.
Contributions are presented below in chronological order, following the structure of the colloquium program. Following the day-to-day overview, we present contributions that were not integrated in the plenary program but that rather informed the work of special interest groups.
Day 1
Lieteke van Vucht Tijssen, National UNESCO Commission of The Netherlands: Transcript of opening speech awaited.
Listen to the sound file of the opening session (4.26 MB - 18m 10s), including a brief welcome to ISS by the Rector of the Institute, Louk de la Rive Box; the opening address by Lieteke van Vucht Tijssen; and a brief statement by the Director of UNESCO's Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Communication and Information in New Delhi, Mohsen Tawfik.
Jan Visser, Learning Development Institute: PowerPoint slide show in memoriam David Wolsk; Introduction to the Colloquium; Brief Intro to Concept Mapping.
Listen to the sound file of Jan Visser's introduction to the colloquium (3.07 MB - 13m 02s), including the In Memoriam for David Wolsk.
Listen to the sound file on concept mapping (3.51 MB - 14m 55s).
Listen to the sound file of the report of one of the working groups (4.42 MB - 18m 49s) that worked on the mapping of the scientific mind, followed by discussion.
Paul Grobstein, Bryn Mawr College: PowerPoint slide show on The Emerging Scientific Mind/Brain (The original version of these slides is available at
Listen to the sound file of Paul Grobstein's intervention (4.46 MB - 18m 58s). This paper was presented via teleconferencing technology.
Diana Stirling: Paper not yet available.
Listen to the sound file of Diana Stirling's intervention (4.32 MB - 18m 23s).
Matthew Jukes, Imperial College London, School of Medicine: PowerPoint slide show Rationality in Sexual Decision Making.
Listen to the sound file of Matthew Jukes's intervention (4.23 MB - 17m 59s).
Day 2
Leon Lederman, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy: Paper awaited.
Listen to the sound file of Leon Lederman's intervention (6.49 MB - 27m 43s).
Louk de la Rive Box, Institute of Social Studies: Paper on Mind the Master: Reflections on What Students Taught Me and related PowerPoint slide show.
Listen to the soundfile on Louk de la Rive Box's intervention (9.67 MB - 41m 13s).
The interventions by Leon Lederman and Louk de la Rive Box were followed by plenary debate.
Listen to the sound file of the discussions following the presentations by Leon Lederman and Louk de la Rive Box (5.20 MB - 22m 10s).
The morning session was concluded reporting back by working groups on their work to identify the conditions of growth of the scientific mind.
Listen to the sound file of the reporting session about the conditions of growth of the scientific mind (4.89 MB - 20m 50s).
Yusra Laila Visser, Florida Atlantic University and Learning Development Institute: PowerPoint slide show on Convergence and Divergence in Children’s Attitudes Toward the Sciences and Science Education.
Listen to the sound file of Yusra Visser's intervention (5.76 MB - 24m 34s). This paper was presented via teleconferencing technology.
Elise Boltjes, Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden: PowerPoint slide show on Example Based Education: A Bridge to Abstract Thinking, Especially for Girls.
Listen to the sound file of Elise Boltjes's intervention (4.76 MB - 20m 10s).
John Avery, Ørsted Institute: Paper on Developing the Social Responsibility of Scientists and Engineers.
Listen to the sound file of John Avery's intervention (4.61 MB - 19m 37s).
The day was concluded with a 'halfway round-up' facilitated by Ron Burnett.
Listen to the sound file of the 'halfway round-up' session (8.61 MB - 37m 46s).
Day 3
John Falk & Lynn Dierking, Institute for Learning Innovation, and Walter Staveloz, ECSITE: PowerPoint slide show on Lifelong Science Learning.
Walter Staveloz, ECSITE: PowerPoint slide show.
Lynn Dierking, Institute of Learning Innovation: PowerPoint slide show on Tomorrow's Learning Society.
Kisten to the sound file of the shared intervention by John Falk, Walter Staveloz and Lynn Dierking (619 MB - 26m 24s).
Roy McWeeny, University of Pisa: Statement on WorkBooks in Science: Science as a Creative Adventure of the Mind.
Listen to the sound file of the shared intervention by Roy McWeeny, John Avery, Lya Visser, Diana Stirling and Jan Visser on 'For the Love of Science' (540 MB - 23m 03s).
Corina Negrea and Laura Durnford intervened on their work regarding the use of radio.
Listen to the sound file of the shared intervention by Corina Negrea and Laura Durnford (4.32 - 18m 24s).
Evgeny Patarakin, Program Systems Institute Russian Academy of Sciences: Paper on Virtual Flock Adviser.
Listen to the sound file of the shared intervention by Evgeny Patarakin and Ronald Siebes (1.92 MB - 7m 60s).
A short debate followed the previous intervention.
Listen to the sound file of the above debate, including Roy McWeeny's birthday celebration (2.31 MB - 9m 49s).
Eric Ross, Institute of Social Studies: Paper on AIDS, the Scientific Mind-Set and the 'Technicalisation' of Twentieth Century Science.
Listen to the sound file of Eric Ross' s intervention (3.31 MB - 14m 06s).
Gilles Lavigne, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California: Paper on Building the Scientific Mind at the Graduate Level: Challenge at Odds with Conditions and PowerPoint slide show on the same theme.
Listen to the sound file of Gilles Lavigne's intervention (2.63 MB - 11m 07s).
Jan Visser, Learning Development Institute: PowerPoint slide show on Not by Science Alone.
Listen to the sound file of Jan Visser's intervention (4.64 MB - 19m 46s).
Debate, facilitated by Ron Burnett, followed the mini series of three interventions above.
Listen to the soundfile of the above debate (9.94 - 42m 31s).
After the coffee/tea break, the above debate was followed by reports by the various special interest groups regarding their work in progress.
Listen to the sound file of the above reports (7.95 MB - 33m 57s).
Chris Kolar, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy: PowerPoint slide show on Student Engagement, Science, Society, and Community at IMSA.
Listen to the sound file of Chris Kolar's intervention (5.22 MB - 21m 58s).
Ralf Syring, Terre des Hommes, Mozambique: Paper on the Importance of Meaning in Dealing with HIV.
Listen to the sound file of Ralf Syring's intervention (5.98 MB - 25m 40s).
The day was concluded with dialogue around the issues raised by Chris Kolar and Ralf Syring.
Listen to the sound file of the dialogue following the interventions by Chris Kolar and Ralf Syring (3.57 MB - 15m 11s).
Day 4
Kathy Nielsen: Paper on Boundary Problems to Networked Solutions. This is the paper originally proposed by Kathy Nielsen. For her presentation she decided to speak to the same issues relating them to the context of the BtSM colloquium.
Listen to the sound file of Kathy Nielsen's presentation (4.31 MB - 18m 10s).
Federico Mayor, Fundación Cultura de Paz: Paper not yet available.
Listen to the sound file of Federico Mayor's presentation (8.66 MB - 36m 58s). At the beginning of his talk, Federico Mayor refers to a drawing by Yasmina Ahmed, who was sitting next to him. The next item is about that drawing.
Yasmina Ahmed: Impressions of the world, the universe, and our natural habitat, as inspired by a Venn diagram. (Yasmina is seven years old and liked to call us to attention with her little bell when we tended to speak too long. Federico Mayor suggested we include her artistic impression in the proceedings.)
The presentations by Kathy Nielsen and Federico Mayor were followed by plenary debate.
Listen to the sound file of the above debate (12.33 MB - 52m 46s).
The morning session closed, after the coffee break, with summary reporting and discussion of commitment to follow up, facilitated by Muriel Visser.
Listen to the sound file of the above summary reporting session (13.21 MB - 56m 29s).
After lunch, a brief closing session was held.
Listen to the sound file of the closing session (2.41 MB - 10m 15s).
Contributions outside the day-to-day plenary program
In addition to the plenary presentations listed above, several authors submitted papers and abstracts the contents of which they addressed while participating in the various group sessions or while responding to plenary interventions. Following is a list of what we currently have in addition to the above contributions:
Paul Ghils, Haute École de Bruxelles: Paper on Science and Nonscience in International Relations as a Discipline. (Note: Paul Ghils prepared the paper but was unable to attend and speak to the issue of his paper.)
Chide Groenouwe, Network Universalis and Free University Amsterdam: Draft paper on the Collective Scientific Mind Initiative. This is an update, dated May 25, 2005, of an earlier, much shorter, description of the initiative. As this is a project in progress, further refinement is likely to follow.
Vimla Patel & Nicole A. Yoskowitz, Laboratory of Decision Making and Cognition, Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY: Contribution to the special panel on 'The Scientific Mind and HIV/AIDS' on The Role of Cognition in Changing Behavior: Understanding Safe Sex: Practices and HIV Concepts.
Gordon Rowland, Ithaca College: Paper on Guiding the Evolutionary Human.
Diana Stirling, Thoughts and Ideas to Contribute to the Colloquium.
Diana Stirling, Paper on Modeling Complex Systems.
Cheryl Vince Whitman, Education Development Center: Paper on HIV/AIDS: The Impact on the Mental Health of Children & Caregivers:
In what ways can the scientific mind and new mindsets improve the response to this neglected aspect of the pandemic?
More draft contributions may be added to this page as they come in and await editing for the colloquium proceedings.
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Continuation of the Dialogue in Virtual Space

Thanks to Ron Burnett and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, a blog for the BtSM community is available at BtSM community members and others interested in joining are invited to use this space for the continuation of the dialogue started in The Hague. Before you can do so, you must register. The option to register is available in the horizontal bar at the top of the blog page. In addition to evaluative comments regarding what has so far been accomplished, the forum also allows for new topics to be opened. Special interest groups may want to use this option to continue their discussions.

Community members may also be interested in the dialogue going on at Ron Burnett’s personal blog at, starting May 23, 2005. It starts off with a discussion between Ronny Siebes and Ron Burnett that emerged from the colloquium on Can machines dream? and then moves on into other areas.

Another area for virtual dialogue exists thanks to our collaboration with Paul Grobstein and Bryn Mawr College. Interested BtSM community members are welcome at the resource page/online forum on "science and story telling" at

Other modalities for virtual collaboration and community-based authoring using wiki technology are expected to become available as well thanks to collaboration with Network Universalis.

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Radio Netherlands Research File account of BtSM

Laura Durnford of Radio Netherlands, who attended the BtSM colloquium both as a participant and in her journalistic capacity, produced a 30-minute radio program for Radio Netherlands on the event. The program was broadcast on May 30, 2005. An mp3 version of this Research File program can be accessed or downloaded via the provided link.
Laura did a second program of the Research File, which aired on June 20, 2005, in which she included interviews made during BtSM2005 with Leon Lederman (about the importance of learning about symmetry) and Federico Mayor (about the relevance of the scientific mind for the development of democracy). The first of these two interviews starts about halfway the program at 15'51".
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Reports about BtSM2005

Click here for the Final Report on BtSM2005 and its outcomes, prepared by Jan Visser and Muriel Visser.
A brief report in Russian was prepared by Evgeny Patarakin for publication in the Russian journal "The Questions of Internet Education."
Also available is a four-page Report of the Special Panel on HIV/AIDS and the Scientific Mind, prepared by Muriel Visser.
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Follow-up activities to BtSM 2005

The Final Report on BtSM2005 and its outcomes lists commitments by BtSM community members to follow up on the results of the dialogue in The Hague. Among those commitments is the initiative to hold country-based and regional meetings. In line with this determination, a one-day seminar on Building the Scientific Mind took place on 22 August 2005 in New Delhi, India. It was the result of collaboration between UNESCO's New Delhi office and the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). A concept paper for this seminar was prepared at the request of UNESCO by LDI. The agenda was set locally and a report concerning the seminar was produced by INSA. Another follow-up meeting to BtSM2005 was planned to take place in Russia but so far failed to materialize due to lack of funding.


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BtSM in 2007

Work has started to prepare for the next major BtSM event, BtSM2007, which will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from May28 to June 1, 2007. BtSM2007 will focus specifically on the theme Learning in the Perspective of Complex and Long-Term Change. More information can be found elsewhere on this Web site.
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