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­“Be Afraid!” This imperative summarizes many newspaper headlines as fear is becoming a permanent part of the modern world. Fear is often examined in relation to specific issues, but rarely as a topic in its own right. Rooted in our evolutionary history, enacted by our brain chemistry and used throughout society and culture; fear transcends traditional academic disciplines and can only be understood in totality from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) hosts the international conference on FEAR: Brain, Behaviour, Society on December 4-5 2017 in Aarhus, Denmark. The conference gathers leading international researchers from a variety of fields for two days to present newest knowledge on fear. The conference is organized in 5 multidisciplinary sessions, with contributions from several fields.

Sessions: “Ecology of fear.” “Fear in memory.” “Dealing with fear”. “Strategies of fear”. “Innate vs learned fear.”


Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), Aarhus University, Buildings 1630-1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark. See location on a map.

Invited speakers 

  • Andreas Olsson, Dept. of Clinical Neuroscience and Psychology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • Daniel Blumstein, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA, USA
  • Emily Gray, School of Law, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Johanna Mappes, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Cornelius Gross, EMBL, Monterotondo, Italy
  • Liana Zanette, Dept. of Biology, Western University, Canada
  • Robert Elliott, Dept. of Psychological Sciences & Health, University of Strathclyde, USA
  • Thomas P. Flower, Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, Canada & Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, South Africa 'Centre for Wildlife Ecology
  • Belinda Thewes, Dept. of Medical Psychology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Michal Linial,  Israel Institute of Advanced Studies, Israel
  • Marco Capogna, Dept. of Biomedicine Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Carsten Bagge Laustsen, Dept. of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Mikkel Arendt, Dept. of Clinical Medicine - The Dept. of General Pshychiatry, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Mathias Clasen, School of Communication and Culture, English, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Armin W. Geertz, AIAS and Dept. of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark


  •  Kenneth D. Lukowiak, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Balász Kiss, Institute of Political Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
  • Tine Bennedsen Gehrt, Center on Autobiographical Memory Research - CON AMORE, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Lasse Lindekilde, Dept.of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Andrea Moreno, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark




Time schedule

Monday 4 December
08:30-09:00: Coffee and registration
09:00-18:00: Opening Keynote, and sessions 1-3, poster session
18:00-18:30: Refreshments
19:00-22:00: Conference dinner, Restaurant NO16 

Tuesday 5 December
09:00-16:00: Sessions 4-5, and Closing Keynote
16:00-16:30: Farewell and refreshments


The conference is open to all, and participation in the sessions is free of charge. If you wish to join the lunch and coffee breaks which are free of charge, prior registration is necessary. Deadline for lunch registration was on 15 November 2017. 

A conference dinner will be held on 4 December at 19:00-22:00 at the restaurant NO16, Europaplads 16, 8000 Aarhus. The dinner is open for delegates attending the conference. A fee of DKK500,- (EUR 65) is charged for the dinner for delegates who are not presenting.


Deadline: 15 November 2017.


We invite researchers of all academic disciplines to submit abstracts that present research on fear for poster presentations. 

Proposers should submit an abstract of approx. 200 words by 22 October 2017 to: administration@aias.au.dk

Proposals should include an abstract, name and contact information of the proposer. Proposers will receive notification on whether their proposal has been accepted by 25 October 2017. Posters will be presented on 4 December. 

Poster size: A1: 594 x 841 (portrait).

Participants with an accepted abstract will get the conference dinner for free.

Context: FEAR - UBIAS Topic of the Year

The conference is part of the 'FEAR' 2017 Topic of the Year for UBIAS. UBIAS is a global network for University-based Institutes for Advanced Study, at present encompassing 37 institutes, currently with AIAS as the coordinating institute of the network. Besides the panel, AIAS fellows and collaborators are organizing a series of events to address the topic in various formats and through the whole year of 2017. See here:

Scientific committee