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Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts

1. Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage including the areas of art and anthropology. Team leader: prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Basiul

The research conducted by the EF team, "Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage", will be implemented in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary mode. Combining research methodologies from different disciplines enables to see a broader range of research issues and possible solutions as well as to recognize the value of the examined object due to all aspects of involvement in its creation and functioning: construction technology and types of construction, design, artistry, history of transformation and use, degree and causes of damage. The research will also facilitate the development of more innovative materials and methods for conservation and preservation purposes. Such research has been recommended for several years by the International Council on Monuments and Sites ICOMOS CHARTER - Principles for the Analysis, Conservation and Structural Restoration of Architectural Heritage. The research is standard in Western Europe, whereas in Poland it is still occasional.

The team will also research the composition, properties, and strength of new materials developed for the conservation of monuments and the needs of other branches of economy. The prospects for the scientific development of the team are part of the research activities carried out by the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage which is currently under construction. Additionally, the NCU is the leader of the Polish Consortium for Heritage Science (E-RIHS), and Professor T. Targowski is the Chair of its Scientific Council. After the transformation of the Polish Consortium into a Research Infrastructure, the next step will be to join E-RIHS ERIC: European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science.

Collaboration under E-RIHS ERIC and cooperation with existing and future, especially Asian, partners of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in research and conservation will provide the team with the possibility to research the most important and best world heritage works, including those on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Scientific as well as commercial cooperation will continue with foreign centres, such as Musée du Louvre, La direction générale des patrimoines of the French Ministry of Culture, the International Molinological Society, University of Amsterdam, Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung des kulturellen Erbes e.V., Technische Hochschule Köln, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (Cambodia), National Gallery in Singapore, National Museum in Beijing and others.

Prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Basiul – pursued university studies between 1979 – 1984 in the field of conservation and restoration of works of art, Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. Since 1984, she has been a research and teaching staff member in the Department of Painting Technologies and Techniques, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. She was awarded a degree of doctor in the field of art in 1997 from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń for the thesis entitled "The problem of colours in retouching easel paintings painted in multilayer technique" (supervisor: prof. dr art. kons. Józef Flik). She was awarded a degree of doctor habilitated in painting and conservation of works of art in 2005 for her conservation achievements and the thesis entitled "Painting workshop of the Gothic triptych with St. Mary of the Apocalypse from the cathedral basilica in Włocławek". She has been Director of the Institute of Art Conservation Science, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń since 1 January 2007. She was awarded the position of professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University In 2009 and has been Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University since 2012 (second term). She was awarded the title of a full professor in 2016. She is an expert in conservation and restoration of works of art, a participant in national and international research programmes; a member of ZPAP (the Association of Polish Artists and Designers),anexpert in the field of conservation of painting and polychrome sculpture, the author of many publications and prestigious conservation projects. She has been involved in the creation and implementation of the concept of the Centre for the Study and Conservation of Cultural Heritage. She has been a member of numerous associations and expert bodies, including being an expert of the Polish Accreditation Committee since 2007, a member of the Association of Polish Artists and Designers of the Toruń District - Chair of the Section of Art Conservators from 2006 to 2011.

Participation in major EU-funded projects:

  • Participation in the project entitled "Implementation of cluster development strategy tasks GRUPA MEBLOWA HORECA" implemented under the Regional Operational Programme of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship for the years 2007-2013, Action 5.1 Development of business environment institutions – 2014.
  • Multi-module interdisciplinary non-destructive research of architectural objects on the example of Gothic merchant houses in Toruń (three merchant houses, Mostowa 6 St.). Project No. RPKP.05.04.00-04-005/13, implemented under Action 5. Strengthening the regional potential of research and technology development under Priority Axis 5.4 Strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises, Regional Operational Programme of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship for 2007-2013, implementation in the years 2014- 2015.
  • Monumentum Sonus Visio. Academic Centres of Creative Industries of Culture, Art and Monuments Conservation. The project is implemented as part of the consortium concluded between the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and WSG University in Bydgoszcz. Project leader - Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Faculty of Fine Arts, personally Prof. Elżbieta Basiul as Dean of Faculty of Fine Arts NCU. Project coordinator - dr Katarzyna Krynicka-Szroeder. The project has been implemented since 2018. Priority axis: 1. Strengthening innovation and competitiveness of the region's economy. Action: 1.1 Public infrastructure for research and innovation of the Regional Operational Programme of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship for 2014-2020. The project will result in the establishment of the Centre for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, which will be located in Toruń at Sienkiewicza 30/32.
  • Technical consultations during the conservation work of the frame ceiling The Fire of the Trinity Lavra (the works of Tomasz Dolabella, 17th century) in the Second Senatorial Room of the Former Cracow Bishops' Palace in Kielce as part of the project "The Palace in the Museum, Museum in the Palace project. Protection, preservation and public access to movable and immovable monuments of national importance" being implemented since 2019 under the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020.

     International conservation and expert work:

  • Determining the authenticity of five paintings in the collection of the National Gallery in Singapore commissioned as a result of winning by the Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń of an international competition announced by the Heritage Conservation Centre in Singapore; participation in a joint team project under the leadership of dr hab. Jarosław Rogóż (Toruń 2014);
  • Technological and conservation expertise of the painting "The scene of the martyrdom of the people of Cambodia during Pol Pot's rule" by Vann Nath, 20.05.1988; Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Toruń 2014 (joint team project under the leadership of prof. dr hab. Elżbiety Basiul);
  • Research and conservation and restoration of paintings by Juliusz, Wojciech and Jerzy Kossak from the Polish Museum in Rapperswil (Switzerland). The project was implemented under the programme of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage 2018: Protection of cultural heritage abroad, No-05415/18 entitled "Exhibition of paintings by Juliusz and Wojciech Kossak with the catalogue in the Polish Museum in Rapperswil and other places." The project was implemented by the District Museum in Suwałki (joint team project under the leadership of prof. dr hab. Elżbiety Basiul).

2. Logic and philosophy of science including the areas: logic, history and philosophy of science. Team leader: dr hab. Tomasz Jarmużek, prof. UMK

  • non-classical logic (paraconsistent, beam, positional, deontic, epistemic, non-monotonic, etc.)
  • application of logic to the construction of formal theories (mereology, pointless geometries, etc.)
  • construction and application of logical systems to formalize theories of social sciences and humanities
  • issues of language philosophy and pragmatics related to the above problems.

As a research group, we collaborate with research centres in the United States, China, Brazil, Australia, and many European countries. We co-organize, among others, a cyclical conference "Non-Classical Logics. Theory and Applications." and the Chinese-Polish Workshop on Applied Logic.

We are planning to increase the potential of the team by recruiting more experienced researchers and by educating young staff, especially through the involvement of young researchers in targeted projects implemented as part of our field.

Dr hab. Tomasz Jarmużek, prof. UMK – co-author of four monographs and several dozen scientific articles. Currently, Head of the Department of Logic, Nicolaus Copernicus University. He has been the principal investigator and team member of national or international projects and the supervisor of three doctoral theses. His scientific interests focus mainly on the metatheory of array system, positional logic, binding logic (binding semantics), non-monotonic logic, and logic applications.

3. Old and new institutions - challenges and changes from an interdisciplinary perspective. Team leader: dr hab. Arkadiusz Karwacki, prof. UMK

The emerging field "Old and new institutions - challenges and changes in an interdisciplinary perspective" is composed of 19 researchers representing three faculties of our university: Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management, and Faculty of Law and Administration. The subject of research undertaken by the team involves institutions, i.e. permanent, value-based, repetitive patterns of behaviour that are formed by both formal organisations and cultural patterns ("rules of the game"). Institutions have always been one of the central subjects of analysis conducted by social researchers. In the last two decades, research on institutions has become particularly important for at least two reasons. Firstly, institutions that can be described as old or traditional, such as families or universities, have been changing, often quite radically. Secondly, new institutions, such as media or financial institutions, are constantly being created. The latter form part of informal institutions. Describing and explaining the changes taking place is a complex task that raises several questions. These questions are the research framework of the team:

  • To what extent are the changes in the institution spontaneous and to what extent are they controllable?
  • To what extent are these processes global and to what extent are they local?
  • Is it possible to effectively design and model institutions and what are the prerequisites for these processes?
  • What expresses the rationality of the institution?
  • What are the consequences of changes in the functioning of institutions for communities and individuals?
  • Do changes in the institutional order generate social inequalities and what is their expression?

The answers to these and other questions are significant not only from a cognitive but also from a practical point of view. The knowledge of social institutions is crucial to create public policies.

The team recognizes the potential of combining the competencies and perspectives of the NCU social researchers from various disciplines who are engaged in a broadly defined analysis of institutions and their transformation.

The answer to the question about (a) the shape of new social institutions, (b) the logic of transformations they undergo and (c) consequences of these transformations will be carried out by exploring areas in which team members have expert competence. Within the established team, research will continue within the scope of specialization of individual scientists and their teams. The aim of the team is, therefore, to strengthen, stabilize, and focus the collaboration between teams that have so far operated in separation. The beginnings of such collaboration are already taking place, for example, between representatives of financial and management sciences and sociologists in the field of research into the institutionalisation of non-cash trade or the determinants of innovation potential in non-profit organisations. However, in many other cases, such collaboration is yet to be established.

The team consists only of individuals who actively conduct research. It was designed in such a way that there are researchers who have been publishing internationally for a long time as well as those who conduct empirical research, have interesting results, but have not managed to break through with them into the European and world circulation of science. The logic of its functioning assumes a common quest for scientific excellence based on the intellectual ferment and collegial support to help all its members become better researchers.

The ultimate aim is to initiate joint research that is compatible and enables mutual use of research results in publications. The team will undoubtedly undertake joint, interdisciplinary work on topics such as 1. financial exclusion and challenges of inclusive banking; 2. challenges of current social policy (family, labour market) in the context of quality of life of the middle class; 3. prerequisites for innovation of different types of organisations; 5. higher education – challenges and changes; 5. new financial instruments.

Dr hab. Arkadiusz Karwacki, prof. UMK – Olecko-basedsociologist, Head of the Department of Quality of Life Research and Applied Sociology at the Institute of Sociology, Nicolaus Copernicus University. He specializes in studies on the quality of life, social problems (experience of poverty, unemployment, exclusion and inequality) and contemporary social policies (especially reintegration and activation policies). The author or editor of 25 monographs and over 80 scientific articles. The principal investigator of 4 research projects and expert in 14 other projects. He is passionately involved in research and application undertakings that have the potential to influence institutional changes and improve the quality of life of various groups. Between 2007-2008 and 2011-2013, Vice-Director of the Institute of Sociology, Nicolaus Copernicus University for Didactics, Chair of the University Council for the Quality of Education since 2014, member of the Senate elected for the third consecutive term. He is involved in the works on the quality strategy in the YUFE initiative.

Between 2016-2018, he was a member and between 2018-2020 Chair of the Council of the Public Opinion Research Centre (CBOS). He is a member of International Sociological Association (Research Committee: Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy), European Sociological Association, Section of Social Work of the Polish Sociological Association, the Academy of Management (Divisions: Public&Nonprofit, Social Issues in Management) and the Polish Society for Social Policy (a member of the Main Board for the 2008-2012 term; a member of the Main Board and Vice-President of the Polish Sociological Association for the term of 2016-2020). A member of the reviewing team of the journals: " Polityka Społeczna", "Sociology of Health and Illness", "Problemy Polityki Społecznej. Studia i Dyskusje", "Trzeci Sektor" and "Nauki Społeczne. Social Science". He is a member of the Scientific Council of the C. Norwid Elbląg Library in Elbląg (since 2016). In the past, an expert for the Institute of Public Affairs. A member of the expert team of the National Development Council and the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland for the development and implementation of the Act on the provision of social services by the social services centre. A member of the "Council of 17" as part of the "17 Goals Campaign" (expert works to set out directions of business involvement in Poland as part of the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030). A member of the Committee on Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences for the term 2020-2023. A member of the Sensa Sustainable Thinking expert team.

4. Perception, Cognition and Language. Team leader: dr Bibianna Bałaj

Our emerging field "Perception, Cognition and Language" (PeCoLa) consists of four separate but collaborating research groups:

The PeCoLa team has 12 staff members and 14 students. We plan to continue collaboration and expand the team. The research area primarily covers psychology but also cognitive science and philosophy (epistemology). We try to understand human development throughout life, individual differences in the processing of information. We give much attention to language that not only allows us to communicate but also shapes our thinking and understanding of the world, the ability of mindreading. In our research, we take into account perception, reading, orientation in space and intercultural differences.

The Emerging Field is an opportunity for us to strengthen our research capabilities (purchasing equipment and commissioning services) and expand our international collaboration (e.g. with the Universities of New York, Hong Kong, Regensburg, Ulm, Oslo) and conducting intercultural research. Given the fact that people belong to different cultures, they shape the image of the real world and the world of culture differently. It is fascinating how people guess the states of mind of other people by observing their behaviour or reading literature.

Dr Bibianna Bałaj – Vice-Director of the Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. Assistant Professor in the Department of Cognitive and Comparative Psychology at the Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences. Doctor of Humanities in psychology, a graduate of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin and the European PhD. College of Polish and Ukrainian Universities in Lublin. She is an experimental psychologist researching cognitive functioning daily and conducting experiments with the use of eye movement measurement as a diagnostic and training tool. The central areas of scientific interest include visual imagination, spatial orientation and disorientation, attention processes. She tests and develops methods of visual interaction with computers for people with motor disabilities: together with her team, she won an award for the OKOMUNIKACJA project. A co-author of several dozen scientific articles. The contractor of research grants (including a supervision grant) as well as projects that commercialize the results of scientific work. Vice-Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, a member of the Scientific and Ethical Council of the "Light" Foundation in Toruń.