Nurturing Interdisciplinary Minds

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Hong Kong Shue Yan University

Bring Bright Minds to Explore Conflict Resolution from an Interdisciplinary Perspective

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 9:38am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 November, 2017, 9:38am

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On November 15, Hong Kong Shue Yan University (HKSYU) is going to hold an Interdisciplinary Research Day with a focus on interdisciplinary conflict resolution: persuasion, negotiation and mediation. This is the first time a research day of this theme being organized by the University to bring together bright minds that explore conflict resolution from various perspectives.

Interdisciplinary Research Day Talks on Brains and Cultures Behind Conflict Resolution 

Recently, HKSYU has constructed an interdisciplinary research platform to encourage collaboration across disciplines in its three strategic research areas: brain-based teaching and learning, decision making, and negotiation and persuasion. This year, the University particularly looks into negotiation and persuasion. It chooses mediation, a positive and effective way to deal with conflicts and disputes, as the main subject to be explored.

“Mediation aims to bring parties together to discuss and reach a mutually satisfactory agreement. Therefore, it involves not only negotiation and persuasion skills, but also strategic thinking and decision making. It is certainly an interdisciplinary subject that worth studying.” said Professor Selina Chan, Director of the University Research of HKSYU. “The Interdisciplinary Research Day indeed offers a very good opportunity for academics from a wide range of disciplines as well as professional mediators to learn this subject in a broader context.”

The Interdisciplinary Research Day has invited two overseas scholars to give keynote speeches in the morning session. They will explore conflicts and morality from multiple perspectives. The first keynote speaker Prof. Michelle LeBaron (the Professor of Law and Distinguished Scholar in Residence of Peter A. Allard School of Law at University of British Columbia) will draw on recent interdisciplinary research, diverse practice contexts and her findings in neuroscience to discuss why creativity is a central resource in mediation, and the relationship between creativity and positive outcomes.

Subsequently Dr. Peter Reiner (Professor of Department of Psychiatry at University of British Columbia National Core for Neuroethics) will review the means by which human have enhanced the moral prowess as a speices through the lens of of neuroethics and insights from philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, sociology, and cultural studies.

In the afternoon session, three academics and professional mediators will provide an in-depth analysis of mediation practice and restorative justice at local level. Dr. Shahla Ali (Associate Professor, Faculty of Law) and Prof. Leung Hing Fung (Associate Professor, Department of Real Estate and Construction) from the University of Hong Kong will discuss encouragement in mediation practice and the development of evaluative mediation in Hong Kong respectively. Prof Dennis Wong (Professor of Criminology & Social Work, Department of Applied Social Sciences) from the City University of Hong Kong will share his topic ‘Restorative justice in Chinese Communities: Current Practices and Challenges’.  The event has been awarded CPD units from Hong Kong’s mediation associations and The Law Society of Hong Kong. 

The First Private University in Hong Kong Committed to Interdisciplinary and Evidence-Based Research

Chan noted that interdisciplinary research is visionary and the latest research direction nowadays. Collaboration in interdisciplinary studies broadens the horizons of research, making it possible to examine common areas of interest from multiple perspectives and to validate findings across disciplines. In the light of its capability and potential, the University fosters the development of interdisciplinary research in evidence-based practice.

“It is a state-of-the-art approach currently adopted in many disciplines and industries which the University has built its vocationally oriented academic programmes, including business management, counselling, education, psychology, public health and social work. In the process of establishing a research niche at HKSYU, interdisciplinary and evidenced-based research has presented itself as a promising candidate,’ said Chan.

Strong Base of Research Facilities for Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Apart from organizing research activities such as individual seminars and thematic research days, HKSYU has also invested in expanding its research infrastructure. Two new research centres namely ‘Centre for Interdisciplinary Research’ and ‘Centre of Interdisciplinary Research in Evidence-Based Practice’ are established in the new Research Complex. These two centres are supported by the Institutional Development Scheme (IDS) fund granted by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, with a genuine commitment to advocating interdisciplinary and evidence-based research.

In addition, the University has also introduced the use of brain stimulation technology. Researchers at HKSYU can make use of the two new neuroscience laboratories: The Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Laboratory and the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Laboratory to further examine how the human brains work during decision making and resolving conflicts.

To register for the Interdisciplinary Research Day at Hong Kong Shue Yan University on November 15, please visit: