Complex Forma Mentis

Complex Forma Mentis is a hybrid research/outreach programme aimed at quantifying, understanding and improving the perception of STEM subjects among high school students.  

While academia and the business sector are rapidly adjusting to novel ways of managing the complexity of real-world systems through contaminations of ideas across STEM subjects, unfortunately teaching curricula often do not relate STEM subjects to the complexity of the real world.

Within the context of complexity science and networks education, Complex Forma Mentis aims at:


gathering data about the current perception of students towards STEM disciplines in order to compare it against the forma mentis of teachers and young researchers;


exposing students to the science of complex systems, relating to the patterns and phenomena observed in real-world complex systems


building more opportunities for ideas exchanges between students, teachers and researchers from academia;


motivating more students in pursuing a scientific degree at the university level.


Project Milestones:

  • September 2018: Complex Forma Mentis achieves its first publication in the Proceedings of NetSciEd 2018, available online here.
  • June 2018: Project presentation at the NetSciEd 2018 symposium. The project results were presented to an audience of network scientists and education experts and received very positive feedback.
  • January 2018: Cognitive experiment at the Winter Workshop for Complex Systems 2018, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
  • September 2017: Cognitive experiment at the Mediterranean School on Complex Networks 2017.
  • June 2017: Project presentation at the NetSciEd 2017 symposium. The project idea received positive feedback by an audience of network scientists and education experts.
  • March 2017: Project launch in Italian schools. Three high schools joined Complex Forma Mentis. 159 students were interviewed in 3 weeks.
  • January 2017: Project launch. The first experiment was performed during the Winter Workshop for Complex Systems 2017, Petnica Science Center, Serbia.
  • September 2016: Project design. Constitution of a scientific committee of scientists interested in the project.