Statement of Centre Mission and Objectives

The aim of this centre is to advance cross-disciplinary research into complex processes. Advances in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, together with progress in evolutionary theory, ecology, economics, neuropsychology, semiotics and other human sciences along with developments in philosophy have demonstrated the inadequacy of traditional reductionist ways of understanding the world. Each in its own way has revealed the world to consist of dynamic, complex and often creative processes; in each case the central problem is how to study and comprehend such processes. The centre will undertake research on the wide range of ideas now converging in the general theory of complexity, emergence, complex adaptive systems and process metaphysics and scientific, cultural and social theories concordant with these ideas.

In this way the centre will attempt to link research on complexity theory and process metaphysics with theoretical physics, chemistry, biology, neuropsychology, human ecology and national and global political economy, and research on cultures, organizations and institutions and their transformations and pathologies, particularly those engendered by the impact of globalization. In the light of such research the centre will also review and reformulate the basic concepts defining social and political ideals and goals of the national and global community and the standards of economic performance and human welfare. To provide the means to formulate policy within this global system, the centre will promote research into new approaches to policy formation and, in accordance with these, strive to create new visions of the future.

Initially it is intended that the centre not only provide a focus for research into these topics - and a forum for academics, postgraduate students and independent researchers to present their ideas, but that it establish informal and formal links with other individuals and research centres within Australia and throughout the world working on similar topics.