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Application VUB Honours Programme

vrijdag, 7 oktober, 2016 - 00:00 to dinsdag, 25 oktober, 2016 - 23:45
Campus: Brussels Engineering, Sciences & Humanities Campus
honour program

Design and Goals

Searching for universality at the university. Looking beyond boundaries of the scientific disciplines. Reflecting on important scientific (r)evolutions and their impact on society. Interacting with internationally renowned experts in a truly transdisciplinary environment. These are the ingredients of the VUB Honours Programme – Science Beyond Boundaries.

From this academic year on, Science Beyond Boundaries is the extra-curricular Honours Programme in which VUB will connect a group of motivated Honours students, selected from all faculties, with world-renowned experts to debate and reflect on important scientific developments and their relation to society.

The 19th century separation of science into different, isolated disciplines is counterproductive for important breakthroughs in the fundamental problems that our society faces today. Some of the most interesting scientific and societal questions that remain in this century must be solved with an interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, modern universities should not be composed of islands of different disciplines. In contrast, the interaction between students should mirror the interconnectedness between the disciplines and reflect the way that science is evolving in the 21st century.

The unique feature of Science Beyond Boundaries is its transdisciplinary character; key concepts from various scientific fields will meet, thus offering an encyclopedic tour of different scientific fields of knowledge. Following a flipped classroom strategy, the Honours students will take the lead in the debates with the experts.


In the academic year 2016-2017, the programme will be centered on the theme Artificial Intelligence, Cognition and Creativity.


When Turing tests positive: the philosophical, cultural and scientific consequences of computers indistinguishable from humans

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

  • Jean-Paul Van Bendegem (VUB)
  • Luc Steels (VUB)

Legal, ethical and economic concerns related to autonomous cars

Wednesday December 14, 2016

  • Jens Kipper (MIT)
  • Thierry Geerts (CEO Google Belgium)
  • Lieselot Vanhaverbeke (VUB)

The limits in understanding the human brain

Wednesday February 15, 2017

  • Maarten Moens (VUB)
  • Frank Van Overwalle (VUB)

Will scientists, engineers and doctors become unemployed in an A.I. society?

Wednesday March 1, 2017

  • Philippe Tassin (Chalmers University)
  • Bart Van Kerkhoven (VUB)
  • Guy Nagels (VUB)

Will we ever accept art - creatively - created by a machine?

Wednesday March 15, 2017

  • Paul Dujardin (Bozar)
  • Thomas Vanderveken (VRT)

Can we be objective?

Wednesday March 29, 2017

  • Els Consuegra (VUB)
  • TBA

Is personal data the currency of the future?

Wednesday April 19, 2017

  • Philippe De Backer (Open VLD)
  • Mireille Hildebrandt (VUB)
  • Pieter Ballon (VUB)


Successful attendance in the VUB Honours Programme implies the participation in at least seven of the activities offered and taking a leading role in at least two of them, i.e., preparing the debate and writing a popularizing or opinionative piece after the debate. Participation therefore requires clear effort and commitment.

An Honours Certificate, signed by the Rector, will endorse your successful participation in the Programme.

We ask you to write a motivation for your nomination, starting from your vision on the development of sciences in the 21st century and its relevance in current society.

A selection committee will look for suitable candidates on the basis of these motivations.


Do you need more information about the VUB Honours Programme? Send us a mail at honoursprogramme@vub.ac.be


  1. You can submit your candidature when you have acquired at least 60 credits and have achieved good study results (at least the equivalent of 'distinction').
  2. Your elaborated motivation should reach us no later than October 24, using the online format.
  3. Nominees will be contacted by the end of October.
  4. Activities start mid-November 2016.
Start your application below
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