In adopting the research project entitled “Brain and Consciousness”, the European Center for Peace and Development proceeded from the fact that consciousness is one of the oldest scientific problems, which has captured man's attention since the time of antiquity, in the Eastern and Western civilizations alike. In contrast to scientific problems relating to the structure of matter and physical interaction, the phenomenon of consciousness has not been scientifically explained up to the present. The last decade of the 20th century was designated by the United Nations as the brain research decade, which certainly provided a new impetus to the study of the phenomenon of consciousness, as the most complex brain function. In pursuing that point of view the European Center for Peace and Development organized the following ECPD international meetings devoted to the research into such possibilities:
In 1995 and 1996, in Belgrade, two ECPD international scientific meetings entitled “Consciousness - Scientific Challenge for the 21st Century” were held:
· Symposium, May 29 - 30, 1995 and;
· Seminar, September 27 - 28, 1996.
These scientific meetings posed a great challenge to researchers in the field of neurophysiology, psychology, philosophy, biology, modern medicine and the like, and confirmed that research in these fields would be almost unlimited and that it should be continued and expanded on an international plane; The ECPD International Symposium and Workshop “On the Scientific Basis of Consciousness”, Belgrade, 22 - 26 June, 1990, represented the continuation of the ECPD scientific meetings on “Brain and Consciousness”. According to the adopted programme, this five - day meeting consisted of two parts: during the first two days, at plenary sessions, prominent and internationally recognized scientists and experts presented their papers.
On average, these ECPD international scientific meetings were attended by 50 prominent scientists and experts in this field, who also took part in their works, while the ECPD International Symposium, which was held in June 1998, was attended by 75 participants from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, France, Belgium, Jordan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Within its project “Brain and Consciousness”, the ECPD organized the International Round Table on the “Consciousness – Religion – Society”. The Round Table was held in Belgrade, on April 22, 1997. It was also attended by various renowned scientists, including church representatives.
In the papers presented at this gathering and, especially, in the discussions, the answers to the following questions were sought: can civilization develop new models of behaviour based on the ancient ethical standards through a synthesis of new and old knowledge? Will this synthesis produce a new humanism at the beginning of the new millennium, or remain Eliade’s Utopia? Can we enter the new millennium without interpersonal and ethnic conflicts, or is man still wolf to man? Can history be a genuine mistress of life, or should each generation learn by its own painful experience? The Round Table provided an opportunity for the rationalization of these alternatives, making at least a small contribution
to a wiser tomorrow. The proceedings of all these scientific meetings were published in English.