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Science Café on 10 March 2017 with Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi: "Leibniz and the Universality of Reason"


The next Science Café will be held on 10 March 2017 at 7pm on the topic "Leibniz and the Universality of Reason". We cordially invite you to meet and discuss with our Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi and his guests.

We cordially invite you to meet and discuss with our Leibniz-Professor Vincenzo de Risi and his guests. Prof. Dr. Michael Kempe (Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Eberhard Knobloch (TU Berlin).

The notion of the universal reason was theoretically grounded on several claims of Leibniz’s philosophy, such as that the common essence of all substances (monads) is reason. Such a claim also grounded many intellectual projects in Leibniz’s life, as the possibility of a characteristica universalis and his studies on mathematics, logic and language, and was embodied in various activities of Leibniz's political life: from the attempt at a reunification of the Churches, to the foundation of academies of science and the fostering of the circulation of knowledge. We would like to explore how all these different aspects may come together to form a distinctive rationalist trend toward the age of Enlightenment.

The Science Café at the Research Academy Leipzig allows for academic exchange in an informal and comfortable atmosphere and offers interested parties access to academic discourse.

New Website


From now on, the Research Academy Leipzig is to be reached at our redesigned webpage at a new address. Doctoral researchers, Postdocs and university teachers may access all information on our offer at

With the launch of the new website, our former representation at the website of Leipzig University (former and the website of Competence School ELSYS (former will go offline and their content will be displayed clearly on the new website. From now on, the registration for our workshops will also take place at

If you would like to share your opinion, wishes or ideas on the new website, please send an email to ral(at)

Seminar „Junge Wissenschaft und Praxis“, 19th and 20th December


This years Seminar on the topic "Scientific Methods in the Digital Age - Science meets Humanities in the Context of Modern Digital Techniques" will again take place on Schloss Machern as a 2-day-workshop addressing interdisciplinary scientific questions.

Current developments in research give rise to an intensive methodical discourse which is often in a simplifying manner connected with the term “big data”. In fact, the scientific interaction which is evolving around new techniques of information and data analysis and processing runs much deeper and touches much more of scientific methodical grounds than the fashionable term referring merely to large quantities suggests. A key question in the interdisciplinary scientific discourse addresses the opposition of hypothesis driven versus data driven research. This concerns for example the issue whether guiding questions for a scientific project arise out of the given material or whether they are a priori chosen and determine the process of approaching material. How does the researcher arrive at guiding hypotheses out of given material? How are they tested? How does one arrive at interpretations and explanations?

Confirmed speakers at the symposium will be:

  • Christoph Kleine, Institute for the Study of Religions, Leipzig Univ.
  • Manfred Laubichler, Developmental Evolution Lab, Arizona State Univ.
  • Richard McElreath, Department of Human Behavior, Ecology and Culture MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
  • Olivier Morin, Minds and Traditions Research Group, MPI for the Science of Human History, Jena
  • Sebastian Schüler, Institute for the Study of Religions, Leipzig Univ.
  • Peter Stadler, Bioinformatics, Leipzig Univ.

To create an inspiring atmosphere for a truly free exchange of ideas all participants are invited by the Research Academy to stay overnight at the ‘Hotel Kavalierhaus’ right next to ‘Schloss Machern’ and enjoy full board sponsored by the Heinz Nixdorf – Hanns Martin Schleyer Stiftung.

Find more information and the registration link here.

About the Research Academy

The Research Academy is the central institution for the promotion of junior scientists at Leipzig University. Through its three Graduate Centres – Mathematics/Computer Science and Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences – the Academy consolidates all interdisciplinary and structured doctoral programmes at Leipzig University.

At the Kompetenzschule ELSYS, the Research Academy offers programmes tailored specifically to the needs of doctoral researchers and postdocs, so as to assist them in preparing for careers both in academia and outside of it.

In the Leibniz Programme, the Research Academy promotes international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational exchange in a "temporary learning community".

More information


Goals and Tasks of the Research Academy