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"Chronoi" – New Einstein Centre for Ancient Studies to Deal with Time and Awareness of Time

Einstein Foundation Berlin announced support for cross-institutional centre.

Sep 26, 2016

The Cast Collection of Ancient Sculptures of Freie Universität Berlin.

The Cast Collection of Ancient Sculptures of Freie Universität Berlin.
Image Credit: David Ausserhofer

The Einstein Foundation Berlin has announced that it will be funding the first Einstein Centre devoted to the humanities as of 2018 in Berlin. The new Einstein Centre will be called Chronoi and will build on the unique cross-institutional cooperation that exists within ancient studies research in Berlin. The initial funding is for five years. The thematic focus will be on "time and awareness of time."

The new Einstein Centre will be operated jointly by Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the German Archaeological Institute, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. The application was submitted by the Berliner Antike-Kolleg, which is operated jointly by all of these institutions.

The involved researchers all deal with consciousness and the perception of time, conceptions of time, and the organization of time in antiquity. In the new Einstein Centre, however, they will not only address the historical perspective. For that reason, researchers from the social, natural, and life sciences are being integrated in the research program. A fellows program for visiting scholars from around the world will be an important component of the Chronoi Einstein Centre. It is expected that the expertise of the fellows will enrich the field of ancient studies in Berlin overall, providing a new impetus for creativity.

The Berliner Antike-Kolleg (Berlin College of Ancient Studies, BAK) emerged from the Topoi Cluster of Excellence in 2011, and since January 2015, it has been receiving funds from the Einstein Foundation Berlin for establishing its research programs. Following a successful review, BAK can continue its work. The members of the Executive Board are Prof. Dr. Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum from Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Christoph Markschies from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

The Einstein Centre Chronoi is one of three newly approved Einstein Centres. Altogether the Einstein Foundation is funding six Einstein Centres. Up to now, however, the focus was on the natural and life sciences, as well as mathematics.

Einstein Centres bundle and harness interdisciplinary scientific expertise in particularly innovative research fields, thus building internationally visible research focus areas in Berlin. They provide a platform for networking excellent research and the promotion of junior researchers in academic fields of significance for Berlin as a science location. The Centres address pivotal, innovative research questions and conduct excellent projects at the interface between disciplines.

This text was originally published on September 7, 2016, as a press release.