Seminar Series

Themes, dates and organizers

The consortium has been invited to several seminars to present and discuss its key project objectives and to create a forum for stakeholder interaction. The seminar series will be continued throughout the project and the recorded seminars provided to the public via the project website.

environMENTAL Seminar 1

Identification of adverse environmental signatures and their effect on brain and behaviour

Friday, 8. April 2022; 9.00h to 12.00h CET, 16.00h to 21.00h Chinese time.
Organizer: Gunter Schumann, Fudan/Charite

Watch the complete environMENTAL Seminar 1

environMENTAL approach to advance knowledge on mental trajectories associated with the pandemic: the COVIDMENT collaboration

environMENTAL approach to advance knowledge on mental trajectories associated with the pandemic: the COVIDMENT collaboration

Helga Ask, Lars T. Westlye, Ole A. Andreassen & Unnur A. Valdimarsdotttir
Department of Mental Disorders, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway. Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway
Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital & Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway. Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.

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environMENTAL Seminar 2

Molecular, neurobiological and systemic mechanisms underlying brain and behaviour

Friday, 22. April 2022; 9:00 to 12:00 GMT/10:00 to 13.00 CET
Organizer: Sylvane Desrivières, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Watch the complete environMENTAL Seminar 2

environMENTAL Seminar 3

Establishment of quantitative neurobiological biomarkers for prediction and stratification of environmentally-related mental illness

Monday, 23. May 2022; 9.00h to 12.00h CET, 16.00h to 21.00h Chinese time.
Organizer: Andre Marquand, Donders Institute

Watch the complete environMENTAL Seminar 3

environMENTAL Seminar 4

Development of pharmacological, cognitive and educational interventions targeting molecular and neurobiological mechanisms of environmentally-sensitive symptoms of mental illness

Friday, 24. June 2022; 9.00h to 12.00h CET, 16.00h to 21.00h Chinese time.
Organizer: Peter Sommer, KsiLink

Watch the complete environMENTAL Seminar 4

environMENTAL Seminar 5

Responsible Research and Innovation in the EnvironMENTAL Project
Thuesday, 5 July 2022;
Organizer: Bernd Carsten Stahl, DMU

Watch the complete environMENTAL Seminar 5

One of the five objectives of the EnvironMENTAL project is to establish a programme of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) that will:

  • enable ongoing stakeholder engagement throughout the project;
  • facilitate critical reflection and consultation on ethical and social consequences; and
  • uphold the project’s societal “licence to operate” through two-way dialogue with patients, citizens and other key stakeholders.

This is important because the project’s processes and outcomes can raise ethical questions and social concerns as it aims to develop intervention for mental health caused by environmental challenges through the development of various technologies including virtual reality and mobile technology. Also, the project will bring together large-scale cohort-based neuroscience, engage in molecular investigation and engage with large numbers of patients. Taken together they may have additional positive as well as negative consequences that need to be considered from the outset.

This seminar will chart the course for activities that will contribute to this objective. It will focus on four main themes that will be relevant across the research and development activities in the project: data stewardship, responsible technology development, approaches to stakeholder engagement and the broader questions that affect the licence to operate. The seminar is structured as a series of panel and plenary discussions where the main topics will be discussed by researchers and stakeholders of the project. The aim is to identify commonalities but also differences that will allow the design of a detailed plan for the responsible research and innovation work plan in the project.


0900 Welcome

Prof. Bernd Stahl

0910 Data Stewardship

Chair: Prof Sven Twardziok
Dr Marcel Jentsch
Prof Sylvane Desrivieres
Prof Dennis van der Meer
Prof Tianye Jia

The project will collect and analyse large amounts of data of different levels of confidentiality. Data protection, data management and data governance will therefore be key concerns. This panel will discuss how environMENTAL can achieve its scientific objective while going beyond legal compliance and move in the direction of societally acceptable data stewardship.

0950 Responsible technology development / ethics by design

Chair: Dr Lise Bitsch
Prof Mel Slater
Dr Sebastian Siehl
Dr (Med) Jakob Kaminski

The project will undertake technology development mostly focused on virtual reality and the development of smartphone apps. Such technologies can raise various concerns about use and misuse of data, manipulation of users, consequences of use etc. There is a long-standing discussion of how ethical and social concerns can be integrated into technology development and design with a prominent approach being that of value-sensitive design.

1030 Engagement with patients, citizens and other stakeholders

Chair: Dr George Ogoh
Prof Dr Isabel Dziobek (DZP)
Cecilie Busch-Christensen
Ingebord Helle Vedde

Engagement with patients and citizens is a key part of environMENTAL and a cornerstone of the responsible innovation approach. Relevant themes include: patient centredness; Integration of patient views into study design; Methods of public engagement; Response of the project to citizen input.

1100 Licence to operate

Prof Bernd Stahl
Prof Tobias Banaschewski
Prof Gunter Schumann
Prof Henrik Walter

This term denotes the importance of publicly funded research projects to be deemed acceptable and desirable by the citizens and their representatives. This is influenced by the behaviour of scientists (e.g. research ethics and integrity) but also by broader question Epistemological foundations: what can we realistically promise; how self-critical can the project be? Anticipation: what predictable consequences would arise from a success of the project as well as from failure to achieve its aims? Ethics compliance; research ethics: how are research ethics issues addressed in the project? AI ethics: how does the project engage with the broader concerns about AI, in particular AI in medicine?

1150 Closing remarks

Prof Bernd Stahl

1200 End

environMENTAL Seminar 6


Friday, 16 December 2022;
Organizer: Frauke Nees, UKSH


  1. General Introduction Frauke Nees, UKSH
  2. The digital app and platform StreetMind: Let’s explore how our environments shape our minds across the globe
    Frauke Nees and Sebastian Siehl, UKSH
  3. 3D build-up properties of urban areas and derived impervious and green index metrics
    Sören Hese, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena
  4. Characterising the atmospheric environment with regard to environMENTAL
    Kerstin Schepanski, Free University of Berlin