2024 Retreat Vienna Cognitive Science Hub

On March 4 and 5, 36 of our Network Associates - drawing together eight organizational units of the University, including six Faculties - gathered at the 2024 Retreat of the Vienna Cognitive Science Hub.


Day 1: Interdisciplinary Practice at the Vienna Cognitive Science Hub

Manuela Baccarini, Vice Rector for Research and International Affairs, presented an outlook on the future of the University of Vienna's horizontal structures - including research networks, platforms, and hubs - and their alignment with the University's Development Plan 2031. A lively discussion ensued, setting the stage for the productive working sessions that followed.

After a short coffee break, Katharina Roetzer presented preliminary results and insights from her ongoing project on Interdisciplinary Practice at the Vienna CogSciHub. One of the main goals of this project is to develop KPIs for the Vienna CogSciHub in particular, but also for interdisciplinary research in general - an area that is notoriously difficult to measure using standardized quantitative methods.

The first day of the Retreat concluded with a keynote speech by Sophie Scott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, on the Evolution and Neuroscience of Laughter.


Day 2: Impulses for Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science and Collaborative Research Projects

Day 2 of the Retreat focused on Blue Skies Research - collecting new ideas for future research and how the broad field of cognitive science might develop over the next 5-10 years. Participants gathered around one big table and let their thoughts flow freely, trying to keep the discussion broad to include the contributions of all Network Associates and their respective fields, even if these contributions were not immediately apparent. The strong interdisciplinary background and practice of the Vienna CogSciHub shone through, enabling Network Associates to find many connections with each other, but also to integrate them into a larger framework of research themes, and to identify concrete steps towards potential project implementations.



It was a fruitful retreat that showcased the diversity of topics and methods covered by researchers at the Vienna CogSciHub. Interdisciplinarity at the Vienna CogSciHub is lived in many ways: Some researchers mastered more than one discipline, others work closely together, and a third group is inspired by other fields, finding new ways to tackle problems in their home disciplines by bringing in fresh outside perspectives and methods not usually employed in their fields.

We are proud to bring together the many different research areas and types of interdisciplinarity that exist at the University of Vienna within the Vienna CogSciHub. Getting together at our retreats and other activities highlights the connections between different areas of research, but also creates room for new ideas to emerge, and enables scientists to do what they do best - work towards a better future.

Impressions from the 2024 Retreat