The Institute for Human Sciences at Boston University (2001 - 2009)
The Institute for Human Sciences (IHS) was established at Boston University in November, 2001, as a joint initiative of the University and the Vienna-based Institut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM), an independent, interdisciplinary center for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences, and Boston University. The goal of the Institute was to promote research and debate among European and American intellectuals and policymakers and to encourage frank and informed discussion of public policy issues of special relevance to both the United States and Europe. For eight years, the Institute served as a forum for new, non-partisan debate, research and education in the matters of international (especially transatlantic) relations, introducing European insights and experiences to American debates on major social and political issues, and bringing American perspectives to bear on European discussions. The IHS also served as the American base for joint projects with the IWM.
The IHS has involved academic teachers and students as well as policy makers, journalists, and the public at large in a growing number of multi-purpose and multi-disciplinary projects, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of international relations and culture. Under the leadership of Irena Grudzinska Gross and Elizabeth Amrien, the Institute launched several well-received initiatives, including a popular lecture series on the transatlantic relationship, a series of events exploring the theme “Muslims in Europe,” visits of prominent literary figures, a long term comparative project on Social Solidarity, and the Milena Jesenska Fellowships for North American journalists. In addition, the Institute has held conferences and panel discussions on a variety of other topics, including, for example, “Media and Politics” and "The Future of Food." Guests of the Institute have included not only politicians, journalists, and academics, but also writers, poets, and human rights workers.
In 2007, the IHS began to collaborate with the European Commission Delegation in Washington DC in bringing knowledge of the European Union, its policies, and institutions to a broader North American public through a series of public forums with European Ambassadors. In December 2008, the Institute received a second grant from the European Commission Delegation in Washington DC for a year-long project entitled "Getting to Know the European Union: European Cultures in Focus." The central piece of the project was series of visits by European artists and writers.
The Institute was served by an international board of Directors chaired by Krzysztof Michalski, Rector of the IWM in Vienna and Professor of Philosophy at Boston University. The members of the board included Timothy Garton Ash, Director, Center for European Studies, St. Antony’s College, Oxford; James Hoge, Editor-in-chief, Foreign Affairs; Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University; Michael Mertes, State Secretary, Commissioner for Federal, European and Foreign Affairs, State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany; Pierre Rosanvallon, Director of Studies, Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron, EHESS, Paris; Professor of Modern and Contemporary Politics, Collège de France; Lilia Shevtsova, Senior Associate, Carnegie Moscow Center; Aleksander Smolar, Senior Research Fellow at the CNRS, Paris; President, Stefan Batory Foundation, Warsaw, and Fareed Zakaria, Editor-in-chief, Newsweek International.