About the Center

The Center Leo Apostel (CLEA) was founded in 1995 as a transdisciplinary research department. It is situated at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), but its scientific council is composed of members of different Flemish universities. It is named after the Belgian philosopher and logician Leo Apostel (1925-1995). Apostel donated the money of the Solvay prize, which he received for his life work, to the VUB in order to create such a center.

The center's aim is the development of world views that integrate the results of different scientific and cultural disciplines (as elaborated by Apostel and collaborators in their treatise "Worldviews: from fragmentation to integration"). CLEA in particular tries to bridge the gap between the natural sciences and the social sciences and humanities. 

CLEA's key objectives were summarized by Apostel as:

  • interdisciplinarity
  • construction of world views
  • broad dissemination of scientific knowledge.

CLEA employs several researchers at the graduate, post-doc and tenure level. They perform high level research in a variety of subjects, including the foundations of the natural sciences (and in particular quantum structures), evolution of complexity, consciousness, cognition and creativity, emergence of social systems, science and art, intelligent webs, and social imaginaries as force and limit for the comprehension of the social, cultural, political and ethical dynamic, and the dynamic of meaning in life.

CLEA has organized the very successful interdisciplinary conference 'Einstein meets Magritte', of which the 8 volume proceedings have recently been published by Kluwer Academic. In addition, CLEA members have published many papers and books.

In its continuing commitment to world views research CLEA has organised the international conference Times of Entanglement,  in the context of the Shanghai World Expo (21-22 September 2010,  Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, PR China). This event gathered an international group of scholars reflecting on creativity, intuition and entangling conceptions of reality. More information can be found on the dedicated conference website.


CLEA is associated with the following international organizations:

CLEA presides a "Research Community" of research centers collaborating on the Construction of Integrating World Views. The Fund for Scientific Research - Flanders provides these centers with funding to organize meetings and exchanges. The other participating centers are:

  • IARA: Institute for Antropological Research in Africa – KULeuven, Leuven (BE) – Head: Filip De Boeck
  • CLPS: Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science – Ghent University, Ghent (BE) – Head: Erik Weber
  • CICI: Centre for Intercultural Communication and Interaction – Ghent University, Ghent (BE) – Head: Hendrik Pinxten
  • PRAGODI: Praktijk-gebaseerd Onderzoek en Dienstverlening – HUB, Brussels (BE) – Head: Dirk Smits
  • CDO: Centre for Sustainable Development – Ghent University, Ghent (BE) – Head: Patrick Van Damme
  • CHS: Centre for History of Science – Ghent University, Ghent (BE) – Head: Maarten Van Dyck
  • CALC: Center for African Languages and Cultures – Ghent University, Ghent (BE) – Head: Michael Meeuwis
  • CCE: Concept, Creativity and Evolution Research – University of British Colombia, Kelowna (CA) – Head: Liane Gabora
  • QIEG: Quantum Information and Engineering – Gdansk University of Technology, Gdansk (PL) – Head: Marek Czachor
  • EC: Estructuras Cuanticas – Instituto Astronomia y Fisica del Espacio, Buenos Aires (AR) – Head: Graciela Domenech
  • QDTG: Quantum Decision Theory Group – University of Leicester, Leicester (UK) (Head: Emmanuel Haven
  • QPQI: Quantum Physics and Quantum Information Group – University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (CN) – Head: Jian-Wei Pan
  • CSCS: Centre for the Study of Culture and Society – Bangelore (IN) – Head: Anup Dahr
  • LAAP: Laboratory of Prospective Anthropology – Université Catolique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve (BE) – Head: Olivier Servais
  • ICES: International Centre for Ethnic Studies – Colombo (LK) – Head: Tudor Silva
  • CCR: Centre for Cultural Research – University of Western Sydney (AU) - Head: Brett Nielsen
  • DCS: Department of Comparative Studies – Ohio State University (US) - Head: Gene Holland
  • TRG: Technoscience Research Group – State University of New York, Stony Brook (US) – Head: Don Ihde
  • SSU: Science Studies Unit – Roskilde University, Roskilde (DK) – Head: Stig Andur Pedersen
  • PMT: Research group Philosophy of man and Technology – University of Twente, Enschede (NL) – Head: Peter-Paul Verbeek
  • CTK: Philosophy of Science: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge – Universität Wien, Wien (AT) – Head: Markus Peschl
  • FEM: Research Centre for the Foundation of Early Modern Thought – University of Bucharest, Bucharest (RU) – Head: Vlad Alexandrescu
  • SPHERE: SPHERE/REHSEIS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris (FR) – Head: David Rabouin
  • PLC: Philosophie, Langage et Cognition (PLC EA 369) - Université Pierre Mendes France, Grenoble 2 - Head: Denis Vernant
  • CURAPP-ESS (UMR 7319) - CNRS & Université de Picardie Jules Verne - Head: Frédéric Lebaron

CLEA co-operates with the interdisciplinary and pluralist Worldviews group, a non-profit organisation established in 1990, under the dynamic leadership of Leo Apostel. Worldviews is created as a reaction against the growing fragmentation in our actual society and is calling for integrating world-view research.


Health, Education and Water- UN Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives from Argentina, Norway and South Africa

9-10 November 2017
Campus Miguelete - San Martín, Provincia de Buenos Aires Edificio Volta, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Read more

International Symposium Worlds of Entanglement

The symposium is the natural continuation of past events organized by our centre, in particular the “Einstein meets Magritte” conference (1995), and the “Times of Entanglement” symposium (2010). Its aim is to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue about fundamental issues of science and society, with emphasis on the influence of the latest developments in the quantum theory at a scientific and social levels.

EU funding available for Ph.D. projects in the QUARTZ Innovative Training Network

The Centre Leo Apostel of the VUB, together with other 6 Universities in Europe, have been awarded an Innovative Training Network (ITN) grant for the application of the formalism of Quantum Theory to Information Retrieval.
CLEA has been awarded with two high quality 3-year PhD scholarships to support research projects in this line, and involves funding for several training activities such as workshops and conferences around the globe.
For information about the QUARTZ ETN, the PhD research projects (named "ESR" in the grant jargon), and information about the scholarship, please visit http://www.quartz-itn.eu
Note: Only projects ESR-12 and ESR-13 will be suppoted by CLEA. For applying to other ESRs please notice that there might be different application procedures.

Call for papers: Special Issue in Quantum Structures in Computer Science - Theoretical Computer Science

Submission Deadline: 2 July 2017.
This special issue aims at opening the quantum theoretical approach to the community of computer and information scientists, explaining how the quantum mechanical formalism addresses the challenges of the dynamic and multi-modal nature of data and user interaction context, and hence can be successfully applied to natural language, semantics and information access and retrieval, and related problems.
More information about submissions here


Center Leo Apostel
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Krijgskundestraat 33
B-1160 Brussels, Belgium

Phone secretary's office:
Scientific collaborator's offices:

Fax: +32-2-644.07.44
E-mail: clea@vub.ac.be
World-Wide Web: https://www.vub.be/CLEA/

It is located just outside the VUB campus "Oefenplein", 2nd side street on the left on the Triomflaan, when coming from the Gen. Jacqueslaan, see: how to find the VUB

Mailing list

CLEA has an electronic mailing list, clea-wg, for all people wishing to keep informed about CLEA activities such as seminars. In order to join, send the one line message "subscribe clea-wg" to majordomo@listserv.vub.ac.be

Created by Alexander Riegler · Send comment · Last update: 25 October 2017