Under the auspices of the Rector of the University of Szczecin and the Mayor of Szczecin, via the MS Teams platform, an exceptional scientific event took place: Alone Together Again (ATA): A Second International Pandisciplinary Symposium on Solitude in Community. That was the second edition of seminars initiated last year in York, UK, resulting from the collaboration of two loneliness researchers: Prof Julian Stern (Bishop Grosseteste University) and Dr Małgorzata Wałejko (University of Szczecin).
The conference was attended by almost 70 speakers from 17 countries and five continents, representing various scientific disciplines. During two days, three plenary lectures and 12 sessions in groups (50 presentations) and one poster session have taken place. You can find all the plenary presentations on a public YouTube channel:
Ben Mijuskovic (California State University, USA): Loneliness is not a medical disease nor a psychiatric disorder; it’s the existential essence of man:
Jarosław Horowski: The morality and the loneliness:
Julian Stern: Personhood, Alone and Together:
How symbolic the title – Alone Together Again – turned out to be, when we saw on one screen friends from all over the world, though alone, still together. During the opening (at Polish 9:00 am) we could meet researchers from the UK (their 8:00 am), Australia (5:00 pm), the US (3.00 am) or Hong Kong (3:00 pm) and many other countries. We are very grateful for all the talks presented, for undertaking the theme of solitude with such care and curiosity.
It’s worth mentioning that during the ATA conference, the inauguration of the International Society for Research on Solitude, ISRS ( https://isrs.usz.edu.pl ) took place. The association, created by scientists from the University of Szczecin and Bishop Grosseteste University, will organize further conferences and publish publications devoted to various perspectives of approaching the problem of loneliness, but above all it will bring together researchers of loneliness from all over the globe – so far dispersed all over the world – according to the idea of “Alone Together”.
/Reported by: Julian Stern, Gosia Wałejko and Basia Chojnacka/