The Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (iASK) is founded at a time of great global uncertainty and growing interdependence. “We have entered a new age of uncertainty” are the words of Elemér Hankiss, who provided guidance for the Institute’s foundation. We have arrived at a crossroads and need to ask the best questions to find the best ways forward. We are continually surprised by climate change, regional political instability, financial crises, presidential elections and the overall spread of intolerance and violence. As Ron Atkin put it: A surprise is an answer to a question we did not ask!
People stick to illusory or vanishing “certainties” because of a lack of alternatives. Traditional analytical frameworks and concepts do not provide satisfactory solutions to the present challenges. The world is more complex, and processes occur rapidly that are often contradictory. Traditional education does not prepare students for an uncertain future with increasing levels of threats. Personal and social safety, institutions and the material and natural world that surround us have become precarious. In this context, the role of science takes precedence, providing valid and useful prognosis and explanations for contemporary phenomena. This includes the responsible undertaking of scientific inquiry with relevant application to human societies.
The task and responsibility of iASK is to help navigate through the complexities and uncertainties of this age, contributing to the formulation of answers to pressing issues that require more complex and interdisciplinary thinking.
Some of the questions that need to be addressed include: