New director of AIAS brings together different disciplines

Andreas Roepstorff, professor of anthropology and founder of the Interacting Minds Centre, will lead the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, AIAS, at Aarhus University.

[Translate to English:] Professor Andreas Roepstorff tiltræder som ny direktør ved AIAS midt i september 2023. Photo: Lars Kruse

The newly appointed director of AIAS, Andreas Roepstorff, has interdisciplinarity woven into his professional DNA. Just take a look at his CV: MSc in biology, MA in ethnography, PhD in social anthropology, professor of cognition, communication and culture, deputy head of the School of Culture and Society, and co-founder of the Interacting Minds Centre in the same school. He teaches and conducts research at the intersection of the humanities, health sciences and natural sciences. He has done ethnographic fieldwork in Lithuania and Greenland, and he has spent time researching in London.

From 15 September, his workplace will be the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, where interdisciplinary research is the guiding principle.

Jørgen Frøkiær, chair of the AIAS board and head of the Department of Clinical Medicine, is delighted with the choice of new AIAS director.

“With Andreas Roepstorff AIAS is gaining a director with an in-depth knowledge of Aarhus University’s core values and academic environments. Over the last 10 years, AIAS has developed into an important platform for excellence at Aarhus University. Andreas is a strong and visionary leader who can drive AIAS forward and realise our ambitions for excellent research and interdisciplinary collaboration both nationally and internationally”, says Jørgen Frøkiær.

AIAS celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this year, and, since its founding, has hosted more than 180 fellows from AU and from universities across the world. Since spring 2022, it has also welcomed researchers fleeing the war in Ukraine.

Easy to recognise himself in AIAS

The ability to apply an all-round knowledge and to forge new research paths is vital for the director of AIAS, and Rector Brian Bech Nielsen is confident that Andreas Roepstorff can live up to this demand:

“AIAS’ ambition to bring together different disciplines is more relevant now than ever before. Andreas Roepstorff understands the benefits of thinking beyond your own field and developing your ideas alongside the knowledge and insights of other researchers. This is what he has done throughout his career. He has led by example, breaking through conventional subject boundaries and motivating others to do the same. So I am delighted that he applied for this position. His appointment will be good for AIAS and for AU”.

Andreas Roepstorff (55) has held teaching, research and leadership positions at Aarhus University since 1995. Throughout his professional career, he has always moved across disciplines and subject areas. So he can easily recognise himself in AIAS’ mission.

“It is important to maintain your subject focus and to spend time with people who can do different things than you. AIAS promotes a culture in which it is possible to delve into your own subject whilst developing projects with other researchers. This enhances our own academic expertise”, says Andreas Roepstorff, who stresses that he is both proud and humbled to take up his position as director.

“AIAS’ mission is to bring together people across disciplines, nationalities and methods in order to develop new lines of research and ways of thinking. I am looking forward to being part of this learning environment”, says Andreas Roepstorff.

 Andreas Roepstorff replaces Søren Rud Keiding, who passed away earlier this year.


Director (as of 15.09.23), Professor Andreas Roepstorff
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