The objective of IEAT (Institute of Advanced Transdisciplinary Studies) of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – UFMG, is to generate a friendly environment fostering transdisciplinary studies based on excellence (to go beyond the usual and ordinary), cutting edge (turned towards the future), and induction (that interfere in the way of generating, organizing, and making public knowledge) at UFMG, covering different areas –humanities and arts, natural sciences and technology and biological sciences. It seeks the so-called state of the art of current knowledge, without which there are no advanced research or groups of excellence.
IEAT was created in 1999 on an experimental basis subjected to the Dean’s Office. Formalized by resolution 03/2005 in May 12, 2005, it aims to carry out teaching and extension research and its mission is to promote transdisciplinarity by approaching, articulating and overlapping disciplinary fields and traditional areas of knowledge. In order to accomplish these goals, IEAT seeks its own identity by promoting transdisciplinarity, linking the contributions of the existing disciplinary methodologies, allowing strongly contextualized approaches, including the arts, science and technology, and generating new characteristics. In this proposal, the trans arises in the form of alternative methodologies that, based on concepts such as “levels of reality,” work at the borders of the disciplines and specialties, seeking to decode what unites and surpasses them. The border is understood, in the words of Evandro Mirra (Conhecimento e Transdisciplinaridade. Editora UFMG, 2000) “as a space of exchange and not a barrier, processes that incite migration of concepts, exploration of novel territories, modifying dialogues with the diverse, processes that do not exhaust the partition of a single object among different disciplines, prisoners of singular viewpoints, irreducible, stagnant, incommunicable.” (Author’s translation).
In consonance with its nature as a research institute, IEAT acts as an institute that connects interdepartmental and supra academic units, and characterizes its activities as unprecedented, experimental, and transitory. The option for transience, epistemologically based on transdisciplinarity, will be present in all lines of action of IEAT, with the concern of avoiding the crystallization of interests and permanent rooting of groups in its ambit. The groups and researchers engaged in the projects supported by IEAT lose their links with the institute as their projects are is fulfilled, the aims achieved, or if the project loses the experimentalism and novelty that mark its activities. Its main line of work is stimulating the generation and dispersion of a new praxis and of a new ideal of knowledge, having as a locus the collective experiences of groups of varied specialties, as an instrument or means of bringing together disciplines and aiming to form specialist professionals who are able to attend more than one field of knowledge. The multi and interdisciplinary approaches are already incorporated to our research, teaching and extension routine and, in this sense, the transdisciplinarity represents an epistemological search for the new. The IEAT represents, therefore, one of the privileged loci of ideas and utopia at UFMG.