As scientific director, I am pleased to welcome you to the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS).
CAS’ vision is to further excellent, fundamental, curiosity-driven research.
To engage in curiosity-driven, fundamental research, to dare enter unknown territories, to combine approaches from different fields, and to question accepted truths is a risky enterprise. Nevertheless, there is ample evidence that most important breakthroughs in science (in the broadest sense) have happened in environments that have fostered and nourished such attitudes and approaches.
To engage in this kind of research one needs not only talent, a certain character, and the ability to work extremely hard. One also needs the support and trust of research institutions and their sources of funding.
I am proud to be the director of an institution whose raison d’etre is to enable such free and courageous research. I am also grateful to live in a country in which our politicians acknowledge the value of fundamental research, and I am particularly grateful to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, without whose continuous support CAS would not have been possible.
The best way to further fundamental research, the way I see it -- and the way we approach it at CAS -- is giving outstanding scholars a year of uninterrupted time and generous funding so that they can sit and concentrate on issues and topics that spring out of their own work.
That's the atmosphere CAS wants to promote, and I hope and expect that this is what our fellows are looking for.
Sincerely,Camilla Serck-Hanssen Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo (UiO)