Tag Archives: Environment

Suspicion-laden paralysis over new nanotechnology labelling and register

Nanotechologies are the perfect case study to identify lobbying forces at work in the regulatory process in Brussels. Compulsory labelling or the implementation of a register for products containing nanotech components have been at the centre of the debate spreading over an inordinately long time. But such decisions will only come at the end of a protracted debate between the European Commission, industry, consumer representatives and environment protection organisations. In the end, evidence-base and the precautionary principle may not be the base for political decisions at the EU level. Read more [...]

Work-life balance on hold, for the love of science

A flavour of the life of some scientists working in extreme conditions shows how work-life balance is heavily tilted towards work. Yet, there are ways to preserve a sense of down time and enjoy the extreme beauty of these remote places. Above all this sort of human experience will make scientists involved stronger and better equipped to face future life and career challenges. Read more [...]

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A regional science centre’s perspective on RRI Tools

How did we get involved in such an ambitious European project as RRI Tools? It all started when we were first approached by the European network of science centres and museums, Ecsite, to participate to a tender over a call pertaining to the production and use of a training and dissemination toolkit on responsible research and innovation. Read more [...]

Shrinking humans: an artist’s perspective on the sustainability challenge

The Incredible Shrinking Man is a speculative project that investigates the implications of downsizing the human species to better address the demands on the Earth. It has been a long established trend for people to grow taller. As a direct result we need more resources, more food, more energy and more space. At the dawn of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, an estimated 5 million people lived on Earth. Read more [...]

European wildlife at risk from nitrogen

An international study warns that nitrogen pollution is putting wildlife in Europe at risk. More than 60% of the EU’s most important wildlife sites receive aerial nitrogen pollution inputs above acceptable levels. There is evidence of impacts on semi-natural grasslands, heathlands and forests across Europe. This threat is set to continue unless there is further action on emissions of polluting nitrogen gases. Read more [...]

The airplane of the future

A simple white paper napkin depicts the future: at an informal dinner with aviation professionals the lead technical design engineer of Boeing sketches his personal vision of the airplane of the future, which is so futuristic that it even outranges the companies conceptual airplane. Any minute when a plane is not flying is a waste of money – the goal is to minimise the downtime. Leading airline companies already try to have their birds in the air around the clock. What still takes time is passenger boarding and de-boarding from an aircraft. Since there is no way to beam the humans aboard, the creative engineer found another solution to save time. In his futuristic vision, an airplane consists of a movable compartment, a 'container', where all passengers can be seated in a comfortable way before the plane has even landed. After embarking, while the passengers already enjoy their welcome drink, the whole compartment will be safely moved and secured to the fuselage, which consists mainly of one big airfoil with the engines. Read more [...]