Latest update: May 17, 2013

Fifth Advanced International Colloquium on

Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM2013)

Bandung/Lembang, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
A dialogue among the disciplines organized by the
Learning Development Institute, 27-31 May 2013
in collaboration with
Institut Teknologi Bandung and the Bosscha Observatory
and in association with
Fundación Cultura de Paz
Universe Awareness (UNAWE)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
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About the colloquium
The Fifth Advanced International Colloquium on Building the Scientific Mind (BtSM2013) brought together a small transdisciplinary community (almost 60 people) representing multiple interests from the world of the sciences, arts and humanities. They came from different parts of the world (all six continent were represented) and met for an intensive exchange of ideas and experiences in the intimate atmosphere of the Bosscha Observatory in Lembang during the last week of May 2013. The magnificent setting of this historic observatory, which was established in the 1920's, served as the backdrop for discussions that focused on issues pertinent to the theme of the colloquium, Science and Technology in the Service of Beauty and Harmony. The observatory, which is part of the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), is located some 15 km north of Bandung on six hectares of hilly terrain at an elevation of 1310 m above sea level, which makes for very pleasant climatic conditions. Walking while talking and talking while walking come naturally to those who explore the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of the observatory. While meeting, participants enjoyed sharing meals and socializing across the diversity of disciplines that were represented at the colloquium, including the natural sciences, the social and human sciences, and the arts. Follow the link to view photos of the Bosscha Observatory campus.
The Bosscha Observatory is, in fact, a haven of tranquility amidst the sprawling urbanization of Bandung and Lembang in what is Indonesia's most densely populated province: Jawa Barat (West Java). Living the BtSM2013 experience will thus expose you to both the beauty and magnificence of the Indonesian landscape (including Tangkuban Perahu, a dormant to mildly active volcano only 30 km north of Bandung) and the tensions between humans and their environment that result from 12000 years of technological innovation. What better context could there be for a meeting of the minds about the search for beauty and harmony of a species whose prosperity and survival depend on the evolution of science and the wise adoption of technologies?
Following the tradition of the four prior colloquia, and in the interest of facilitating intensive dialogue in an atmosphere of close personal interaction and effective socialization, the number of participants will be limited to between 60 and 70. We will furthermore strive for diversity, as much as possible ensuring that the dialogue takes place at a level that finds its inspiration in the presence of individuals who have their roots in different cultures and diverse disciplines. Nonetheless, for practical reasons, we expect English to be the lingua franca for our conversations, both formal and informal. As there may be more demand than we can accommodate, our local coordinators for the event, Premana Premadi and Yudi Soeharyadi, envision a follow-up of the colloquium at the national level in Indonesia. This will also allow involvement by those who are less conversant with the English language.
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An evolving program, punctuated by areas of special interest
The program for the five days is an evolving matter. As this is a colloquium rather than a conference, participants--in particular those who propose to present or take initiative in organizing group discussions or other activities--play a role in what the program is going to look like. At the start of the colloquium, there will be a set program, on paper, but not carved in stone. It may still change as the dialogue evolves.

As proposals come in, we will list them here over time. For now, to get an idea of the diversity of the issues likely to be discussed, please find below a preliminary list of areas of special interest that were identified during preparatory discussions in Indonesia. More may be added.
Special interests thought to be worth the attention of participants include:
  • The transdisciplinary nature of the scientific mind.
  • Local knowledge in a world shaped by science and technology.
  • Failures of formal education and how to correct them.
  • The importance of an integral learning landscape, comprising both formal and informal environments.
  • Noteworthy initiatives, such as UNAWE.
  • Building the scientific mind in the perspective of lifelong, life-wide and life-deep learning.
  • Health, nutrition, and the scientific mind.
  • Building the scientific mind with people with special needs.
  • Teacher education and development for rural and urban settings.
  • Pedagogical approaches of note, such as Problem Oriented Learning.
  • Philosophy and history of science.
  • Beyond the divide: Shared concerns of science and religion.
  • Human values, aesthetics, and the scientific mind.
The list is far from complete. Prospective participants are invited to make further suggestions. Your input into the collaborative planning of the program is important.
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Program elements (abstracts of proposed sessions)
Click here to download a PDF document with short descriptions and abstracts of proposed sessions and activities. This document has been updated regularly during the months prior to the BtSM2013 colloquium. It is now final and available in print for the BtSM2013 participants.
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Day-to-day program
The various session proposals included in the above document have been grouped, in the day-to-day program, in accordance with generative themes to be explored during each of the colloquium days. The program is available here.
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A video impression of BtSM2013, produced by Anaïsa Visser, is available via YouTube here. It can also be downloaded from the server here, which may take several minutes, considering the 19MB size of the MP4 file.
Also available - with due thanks to the AV services of the Institut Teknologi Bandung and the Bosscha Observatory- is a full video of the keynote presentation by Matthew Colless on 'Beauty and Harmony in the Service of Science and Techology.'
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More about the idea, background and history of BtSM
The fifth colloquium currently under preparation comes in the wake of four prior Building the Scientific Mind colloquia, held under the auspices and/or with the support of UNESCO, namely BtSM2011, which took place in March 2011 in Stellenbosch, South Africa; BtSM2009, held in Cairo, Egypt, in May 2009; BtSM2007, held in Vancouver, Canada, in May 2007; and the inaugural colloquium BtSM2005, which took place in May 2005 in The Hague, The Netherlands. This fifth colloquium is deliberately being planned to take place in Indonesia so as to favor participation from South East Asia and other countries in the southern hemisphere, while continuing the practice of the past colloquia to discuss issues regarding the scientific mind in a global perspective. In other words, participation from all parts of the world will be encouraged and we hope to see many familiar faces from the past as well as many new ones. Those new to BtSM may want to check the above links to find out more about the past colloquia so as to have an idea of what to expect in 2013. A short video made during the Stellenbosch colloquium gives a good idea of the atmosphere during these meetings. Expect a similar level of enthusiasm and social interaction when we meet in Lembang.
More about the BtSM colloquium series and its history can be found in the linked document with the title The State of BtSM.
Initial ideas about the conceptual background of BtSM are elaborated upon in a concept paper on ‘The Scientific Mind in Context.'
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Cost of participation
The direct cost involved in preparing, organizing and running the colloquium is shared among the participants. Like on the four previous occasions we have kept this contribution at a minimum. It includes the lunches we share; tea and coffee during morning and afternoon breaks; and the official colloquium dinner.
After we receive your completed registration form we will send you instructions for payment of the participation fee in US dollars ($ 325) or Euros (€ 270). Should you have undue difficulties in processing a payment in these currencies, please be in touch by writing to [email protected] so that we can discuss alternative options.
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We expect BtSM2013 to attract more people than we can possibly accommodate. We therefore encourage those who seriously consider participating to sign up as soon as possible via the registration form below. Those interested in presenting or organizing an activity during the colloquium should also fill out the session/activity proposal form.
(MS Word version)
(MS Word version)
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Accommodation and location
The SanGria Resort & Spa and the Villa Lemon Hotel are located in relatively close proximity of the venue where most of our meetings take place, the Bosscha Observatory in Lembang. Together they should be able to accommodate all the participants who are not from the immediate vicinity of Lembang, provided participants make their reservations in a timely fashion. The colloquium takes place in the week prior to the start of the holiday season, which means that there is significant pressure on available hotel room accommodation. The SanGria has offered us a 20% discount on their rates for BtSM2013 participants; the Villa Lemon, whose regular rates are lower than those of the SanGria, offers a 25% discount. The hotels are located at 20 minutes walking from the observatory. The links above lead to series of photos we took to show the kind and quality of accommodation available. For shoe-string budget, yet decent, accommodation, there is also the Hotel Buah Sinuan, more of a backpackers hotel, at only ten minutes walking from the observatory.
This Google satellite map shows the locations of the three hotels and the Bosscha Observatory. The total walking distance between the SanGria Resort & Spa (A) and the Bosscha Observatory (B) is 1.8 km.
To visit the official Web sites for these hotels, click on the following external links to SanGria; Villa Lemon; Buah Sinuan.
You may also want to consult the attached 2012 information leaflets for the SanGria and the VillaLemon. To compare rates expressed in Indonesian Rupias with prices at home use any of the available currency conversion Web sites, such as OANDA.
You should plan to arrive at your hotel latest on Sunday May 26, 2013 (the day immediately prior to the opening of the colloquium). As we expect colloquium related business to continue well into Friday May 31, 2013, you will probably leave on June 1. However, the hotels will be happy to take your booking for a more extensive stay if you so wish.
To make your booking for the SanGria Resort & Spa or the Villa Lemon you should proceed as follows.
  1. For the SanGria Resort & Spa, write an email to the Assistant Sales Manager Mr. Reno at [email protected].
  2. For the Villa Lemon Hotel, write an email to [email protected] with copy to Mr. Ian Firdaus at [email protected].
In both cases, provide the following detail
  • your name
  • physical address
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • number of persons in your party
  • number of rooms required
  • type of room or villa
  • date of arrival
  • date of departure.
Mention in your email that you are a participant in the Building the Scientific Mind Colloquium (BtSM2013) organized by the Learning Development Institute.

You will receive a confirmation email for your reservation.
Let us know ([email protected]) should you have any problems making your booking. As soon as you have successfully set up your booking, we'll appreciate it if you let us know where you will be staying.
Those wishing to reserve accommodation in the Hotel Buah Sinuan and who don't speak Bahasa Indonesia, please be in touch with [email protected] providing the above details and we'll approach our colleagues in Indonesia, asking them for help in making the arrangements.
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Travel and travelers' health
Check out visa requirements for entry into Indonesia for your particular nationality well in time before your departure. For 63 countries and one region the process is simple as it allows, under certain conditions, a Visa on Arrival (VOA) to be obtained at the port of entry. Check this out at Note that your passport needs to be valid until at least half a year beyond the date of your arrival in Indonesia. Nationals of 11 countries do not require a visa. They are listed at On the other hand, the process will be more cumbersome and lengthier for 17 other countries listed at
See for further detail regarding visa matters and check with your nearest consular representation of the Republic of Indonesia. Should you require documentation to prove that you will be attending BtSM2013 and for any other assistance, please be in touch.
For international travel by air, your destination in Lembang can be reached by air by first flying direct to Jakarta out of major distant hubs. From there you can take a local flight to Bandung and travel onward by taxi to Lembang. However, it is easier to use one of the shuttle services departing from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Besides, there is a railway connection between Jakarta and Bandung. Alternatively, there are international flights from such nearby hubs as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur directly to Bandung.
Considering that the shuttle service out of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is the most convenient option for reaching your hotel in Lembang and be dropped off at the door, please follow this link to a PDF document that provides detailed instructions for how to proceed. If you let us know the date, time and flight number of your arrival in Jakarata and the name of the hotel where you will be staying, our Indonesian colleagues will be happy to assist you in setting up a reservation for the shuttle service.
Health information for travelers to Indonesia is, among other sites, available at this Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Touristic opportunities
For those interested in combining their participation in the colloquium with touristic outings to the island of Bali or Central Java, please check out this link to proposals made by one of the Bandung based travel agents for your consideration.
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More to follow in due course.
If the above doesn't work for you and yet you want to be involved, don't hesitate to be in touch at [email protected]. The same email address can be used should you have queries or suggestions.