Ziauddin SardarThe Human Mind Project launches today ( 12 December 2013) with a FREE public evening panel session held at Senate House, London. The project seeks to co-ordinate an international effort to define the major intellectual challenges in understanding the nature and significance of the human mind. Central to its success is collaboration across conventional disciplinary boundaries.

In the lead up to the launch event the School of Advanced Study have conducted a series of short interviews with the initial project team to learn more about what they hope to achieve.  This interview is with Professor Ziauddin Sardar, a London-based scholar specialising in Muslim thought. 


First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your area of research?

I am a public intellectual with wide ranging interests from futures of human cultures, Islamic reform, human rights, to issues of ethics in science and technology. Currently, I am Professor of Law and Society and Chair of the Muslim Institute, a learned organisation, in London.


The Human Mind Project is a collaborative venture between the humanities and the sciences.  What do you think are the particular opportunities and challenges for this type of collaboration?

I am not a great believer in disciplinary boundaries; and I think humanities are as important as science for viable futures of humanity. Given that every scientific advance raises a host of ethical, moral, philosophical and social issues, it is important that humanities and sciences collaborate and work together to illuminate a pluralistic and socially just path towards the future.


What do you hope the Human Mind Project will achieve?

A better understanding of what makes us human and appreciation of other than western ways of being human.


The Human Mind Project is an international collaboration including the Institute of Philosophy (SAS). For full details check the Human Mind Project website. To book and find out more about the ‘What’s so special about the human mind?’ panel session taking place on Thursday 12 December 2013 check our previous blog post Project Launch – What’s so special about the Human Mind?

The panel session will take place in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London on Thursday 12 December 2013, 5pm-8pm, followed by a reception in the Macmillan Hall.

The event is FREE to all but please reserve your seat on our booking page to avoid disappointment.

SAS hosts more than 1,800 events each year – the majority of which are free and open to all. Search our events calendar or sign up to our mailing list for the latest information.