About us – Centrum Kopernika Badań Interdyscyplinarnych UJ

About us

Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies is an extra-faculty unit of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków

The Center conducts advanced interdisciplinary studies at intersections of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, especially including: physics, cosmology, philosophy, history of science, mathematics, and cognitive science.

The Copernicus Center is also involved in the popularization of science and education. It organizes public lectures, discussions and annual Copernicus Festival. The Center manages the Copernicus College, the first Polish MOOC, as well as the channel Youtube.com/CopernicusCenter. The publisher, Copernicus Center Press, operates under the auspices of the Center.

The Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies is headed by the director: Professor Dr. Habil. Bartosz Brożek

The Copernicus Center’s Council involves:

Professor Dr. Habil. Michael Heller
Professor Dr. Habil. Stanisław Kistryn
Professor Dr. Habil. Jerzy Stelmach
Dr. Habil. Janusz Mączka
Dr. Zbigniew Liana

originator, founder, first director

Professor Dr. Habil. Michael Heller (born 1936) is a Polish cosmologist, philosopher, and theologian, specializing, among others, in relativistic cosmology, noncommutative geometry, philosophy and history of science, as well as in studies on the relationship of science and religion. He is professor emeritus of the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków as well as adjunct fellow of the Vatican Observatory. Michael Heller is a former visiting professor of many universities, e.g., in Oxford, Cambridge, Bochum, Louvain, and Washington. He is the author and editor of several dozens of book monographs, including “A comprehensible Universe” (with G. Coyne; Springer, 2008), “Ultimate explanations of the Universe” (Springer, 2009), “Infinity: New research frontiers” (with H. Woodin; Cambridge University Press, 2011); “Some mathematical physics for philosophers” (Gregorian University, 2005), “Creative tension: Essays on science & religion” (Templeton Foundation Press, 2003), “Philosophy in Science: An historical introduction” (Springer, 2011), “Philosophy of chance” (Copernicus Center Press, 2012). He published several hundred peer-reviewed articles in journals including Astrophysics and Space Science, Physics Letters A, General Relativity and Gravitation, Physical Review D, Classical and Quantum Gravity, Journal of Mathematical Physics, Foundations of Physics, International Journal of Theoretical Physics, Foundations of Science. Professor Heller holds many honorary degrees, e.g., from Jagiellonian University, Kraków University of Technology, Silesia University, and Warsaw University of Technology. He is laureate of many distinctions and prizes, including Gold Cross of Merit, Order of Polonia Restituta, Order of the White Eagle, Plus ratio quam vis medal, as well as Templeton Prize (1.6 million USD) that he devoted entirely to founding the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. He was the first director of the Copernicus Center, and today he is member of its executive council.

The Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies has been officially established on October 1, 2008, as a joint venture of the Jagiellonian University and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland, with Professor Michael Heller as a Director. The Copernicus Center is, however, well-grounded in ideas that date back to the 1970s, when a group of scholars and researchers led by professors Michael Heller and Józef Życiński created a semiformal institution, called the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

From the beginning, the Copernicus Center has continued the tradition of interdisciplinary research focused, among other things, on “philosophy in science,” namely, tracking philosophical issues at the frontiers of, or underlying, various fields of science. The Copernicus Center has also continued ventures established in the 1970s by Heller and Życiński, including organizing annual Kraków Methodological Conferences, editing a peer-reviewed journal called “Philosophical Problems in Science” as well as publishing book monographs. The Copernicus Center has complemented research and scientific activities by popularizing science on a large-scale. The Center has been organizing lectures and discussions for the general public (since 2012), as well as Copernicus Festival focused on the relationship between science & culture (since 2014). On the educational side, the Copernicus Center has launched the biggest MOOC platform in Poland – the Copernicus College offering interactive academic courses in Polish. Since 2013, the publisher, Copernicus Center Press, operates under the auspices of the Copernicus Center.

After a decade of activity, on October 1, 2018,  the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies has been transformed into an extra-faculty unit of the Jagiellonian University, and Professor Bartosz Brożek has elected its Director.


Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Jagiellonian University

Szczepańska St. 1/5, 31-011 Kraków, Poland

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