General Information

(c) Universität Wien/Gebhard Sengmüller | UNIVERSITY OF VIENNA, MAIN BUILDING

Since 2001, the Institute Vienna Circle (IVC) together with the University of Vienna, Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR), holds an annual summer program (univie: summer school, in short USS) under the general title of "Scientific World Conceptions" (SWC). The title of this program reflects the heritage of the Vienna Circle and emphasizes its interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary character. Accordingly, USS-SWC will address current topics in the natural and social sciences, the history and philosophy of the sciences and the humanities as embedded in their cultural contexts.

The feasibility or even possibility of a scientific world view has become a subject of international debate. However, current discussions on the relationship between science and culture, modernism and postmodernism, often exhibit a serious neglect of the history of science and its methodology.

As the 21st century begins, USS-SWC must embrace the societal aspects of science as well as the applications of science and the insights science provides for foundational issues. USS-SWC also aims to bridge the increasing gap between the sciences and the humanities (Natur-, Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften) by promoting rational and analytical discussions of central issues of concern to scientists and other scholars, and to the public at large. To this end, courses with a theoretical and logical orientation will find a place by the side of practically orientated ones. In connection with the Institute Vienna Circle's major areas of research and its expanding archive devoted to scientific philosophy, USS-SWC will offer courses or lectures on Vienna's traditions in the history of the philosophy of science or the history of science and the humanities.

USS-SWC is directed primarily to graduate and postgraduate students and junior researchers and scholars in these fields. Applications from people at any stage of their careers who wish to broaden their scientific horizons through a cross-disciplinary study of methodological and foundational issues are also strongly encouraged. Preference will be given to those who possess advanced education in a scientific discipline.

USS-SWC will be dedicated to an interdisciplinary topic each year and will consist of courses from four subject fields. Two or three leading scholars will be invited as lecturers in a two-week course of study that will take place each morning, while the afternoons will be devoted to related tutorials, seminars, and discussions, or to topics covered in special evening lecturers by renowned invited speakers.

As a joint activity of the Institute Vienna Circle and the University of Vienna, USS-SWC operates under the academic supervision of an International Program Committee of distinguished historians, philosophers, and scientists who have the responsibility of determining the topic for each year and who will assist in securing financial support and academic credit for students from their home countries.

Interested students and scholars are requested to contact the IVC, preferably by email: For application, please find the requirements and application form here.