Recorded lecture: Yadvinder Malhi – The Metabolism of Planet Earth

In this lecture Professor Yadvinder Malhi examines human influence on the natural world through the concept of metabolism: how much energy flows through human societies compared to how much flows through the biosphere. The lecture was held at the University of Bergen on April 25th, to mark the Darwin Day.

 

In this interesting lecture, prof. Yadvinder Malhi first looks at the biological metabolism of the planet, how it is measured and how it is distributed over the Earth. He then explores how these energy flows have changed through human history and prehistory, and scenarios for how they may change over this century, where human-appropriated energy flows threaten to overwhelm the life-sustaining metabolism of the planet.

The metabolic profile of a modern industrialised country (the UK) is explored detail: how much of our energy is directly consumed or embedded in products and in societal infrastructure?

The lecture was  a joint event organised by the Horizon Lecture Committee at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Darwin Day Committee at the Department of Biological Sciences, and Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub. It is also available at Vimeo:

 

Lecture by Yadvinder Malhi – The Metabolism of Planet Earth

The lecture: The Metabolism of Planet Earth

We live in a unique time in human and Earth history, when human influence on the planet is so persuasive that it is argued we have entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The consequences of this pervasive influence underlies the many environmental challenges we face, from climate change to depletion of marine resources and the loss and degradation of natural ecosystems.

The lecture starts at 16.15, on Monday 25th of April 2022.

In this lecture Professor Yadvinder Malhi examines human influence on the natural world through the concept of metabolism: how much energy flows through human societies compared to how much flows through the biosphere. We first look at the biological metabolism of the planet, how it is measured and how it is distributed over the Earth. He then explores how these energy flows have changed through human history and prehistory, and scenarios for how they may change over this century, where human-appropriated energy flows threaten to overwhelm the life-sustaining metabolism of the planet.

The metabolic profile of a modern industrialised country (the UK) is explored in particular detail: how much of our energy is directly consumed or embedded in products and in societal infrastructure? Malhi concludes by exploring possible pathways out of this predicament, of how to navigate a sustainable future on a human-dominated planet.

Everybody is welcome!

Refreshments will be served before the lecture, from 15.45 (requires registration). The lecture starts at 16.15, on Monday 25th of April 2022 in Egget at Studentsenteret. Find the event on Facebook.

Professor Yadvinder Malhi

Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford and Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery. His work focuses on the interactions between the biosphere and global change. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in many tropical countries in particular, and is founder of the Global Ecosystems Monitoring network, which conducts detailed studies of ecosystem processes and climate change in field sites ranging across Amazonia, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. More broadly he is interested in the challenge of maintaining a flourishing and sustaining biosphere under the challenges of global change, and how to deliver nature recovery at scale. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and was awarded a CBE in the 2020 Queens’ Birthday Honours for his work on ecosystem science. He is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum of London and President of the British Ecological Society.

This lecture is a joint event organised by the Horizon Lecture Committee at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, the Darwin Day Committee at the Department of Biological Sciences, and Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub. See poster from Darwin Day in Bergen.

EASAC holds open session on Regenerative Agriculture Report at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

EASAC holds open session on Regenerative Agriculture Report at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) in Budapest, in cooperation with the AE Budapest Hub

EASAC, the MTA and the AE Budapest Hub are co-organizing a public event at MTA’s headquarters on 6 April 2022

EASAC, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the AE Budapest Hub are co-organizing an open session on EASAC’s report “Regenerative Agriculture in Europe”. The event will be held in Budapest, at the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Széchenyi István tér 9, 1051 Budapest, Reading Room, 1st floor), on 6 April 2022, between 10:00-12 hrs AM (CET). EASAC’s “Regenerative Agriculture” project, according to the organization’s website, “takes as a point of departure the recent shifting agricultural and biodiversity policy arena in Europe and the recent increasing interest, internationally, in Regenerative Agriculture as an umbrella concept for sustainable and resilient food systems. Regenerative agriculture is defined as a system of farming principles and practices that e.g. maintain agricultural productivity, increase biodiversity, enrich soils, restore watersheds, and enhance ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration” (source: https://easac.eu/projects/details/regenerative-agriculture/).

At the open session, EASAC’s experts will deliver presentations about the report which is due to be released in the early days of April. Potential policy outcomes and the report’s relevance for climate will also be explored. The session will be moderated by AE Budapest Hub’s Co-Chair for Urban Sustainability, Professor Gábor Stépán.

The audience are welcome to attend in person at the venue, but the event will also be streamed live at the Hungarian Academy’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MTA1825

AGENDA

10:00-10:10 Greetings – Professor Ervin Balázs, Chair of MTA’s Section of Agricultural Sciences and Professor Lars Walloe, Chair of EASAC’s Environment Steering Panel

10:10-10:30 Launch of the “Regenerative Agriculture” report – Dr Orsolya Valkó and Professor Lars Walloe, Co-Chairs of the EASAC Working Group on Regenerative Agriculture

10:30-10:50 Presentation of the Report on “Regenerative Agriculture” – Professor Thomas Elmqvist, Project Director, EASAC

10:50-11:10 Potential Policy Outcomes – Anders Wijkman, Tech Dr h. c., Member of the Environment Steering Panel of EASAC

11:10-11:30 Relevance for the Climate: Insights from the Latest IPCC’s WGIII Report – Professor Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, MAE, Professor of CEU, Vice Chair of WGIII of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

11:30-11:50 Q&A

11:50-12:00 Wrap-up and closing of the session – Professor Lars Walloe and Professor Gábor Stépán

Registration to the event is open here.

Webinar: Science advice at times of crisis: what roles for universities and academies?

An international webinar, Monday 25th April 2022, with Academia Europaea as co-host.

Additional information and registration at Academia Europaea Cardiff Knowledge Hub.

15:00-16:00 Central European Summer Time (CEST) and South Africa Standard Time (SAST)
14:00-15:00 West European Summer Time (WEST), UK and Ireland
09:00-10:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in United States

University and academy networks of expertise play a key role at the research-policy interface, but is their role really understood, recognised and sufficiently resourced? And what is their role at times of crisis?

Science advice to policymakers has come to the fore during the Covid crisis. It is likely to remain so, given the ever-increasing complexity of the knowledge needed for dealing with 21st-century global policy challenges.

University and academy policy engagement networks (such as UPEN in the UK, the Africa Research and Impact Network, Research Impact Canada and SAPEA in the European Union) have established themselves as a core element in the science advice ecosystem. Working across traditional organisational and disciplinary boundaries, they facilitate knowledge generation, synthesis, brokering, horizon-scanning, and much more. They do so in a way that is both nimble and responsive, while also evidence-based and non-partisan.

But is the role of such networks fully understood or acknowledged? How has their role changed over time? Where is the evidence with regard to ‘what works’, especially in relation to sharing best practice or nurturing leadership? What sorts of pressures do these networks and their members find themselves under and how do they cope? How can we make our networks even stronger?

Join our international panel of experts, who will discuss and debate the issues with the audience. Our webinar is free and open to all worldwide.

Our expert panel

  • Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President, Academia Europaea (Chair)
  • Dr Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science, Brown University
  • Professor Matthew Flinders, Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre for the Public Understanding of Politics, University of Sheffield and Chair, Universities Policy Engagement Network (UPEN)
  • Dr Cornel Hart, Senior Lecturer, Community Development Programme, University of the Western Cape, and Board Member of South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF)
  • Dr David Phipps, Assistant Vice-President, Research Strategy & Impact (Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation) at York University and Director, Research Impact Canada
  • Chris Webber, Head, Open Innovation Team, UK Government

In Memoriam Olav Eldholm (1941 – 2022)

Emeritus Professor Olav Eldholm, passed away April 18 2022 at the age of 80. 

In Memoriam Olav Eldholm (1941 - 2022)

In Memoriam Olav Eldholm (1941 – 2022)

Eldholm was elected member of Academia Europaea since 1990, and a prominent person in the international geoscience community. He was also a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and a number of several national and international academies. Eldholm studied geophysics at the University of Bergen, and spent formative years as research scientist at Columbia University´s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York before returning to Norway for a professorship at the University of Oslo in 1974.

At that time Lamont-Doherty was arguably the global hothouse for marine geoscience, and Eldholm soon became an important member of the global community in the field with key collaborators. Most influential was perhaps his collaboration with Manik Talwani, which also resulted in the prominent monograph Evolution of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea in 1971.

Eldholm was widely known internationally for his significant contributions to marine geophysics and geodynamics, notably to the understanding of continental margins, ocean basins, volcanism and plate tectonics –in particular in the North Atlantic region. In 2021 an ancient volcano on the Vøring Plateau was named Eldhø to honour his contributions to science. His research has also been highly influential for oil and gas exploration and production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf not least with many of his students moving to central positions in the industry.

Eldholm was a key person in international programmes in marine Earth Science, and he was for many years deeply involved as a leading figure in the Ocean Drilling Program, where he was a keen promotor of getting young scientists involved in this major global scientific undertaking. This has shaped many excellent scientific careers.

In 2003 Eldholm moved back to his Alma Mater in Bergen to become head of the newly merged Department of Earth Science at the University of Bergen which he led as a dynamic leader for six years before retiring to become an emeritus professor. He was an active emeritus and continued with producing new scientific publications. His legacy is important and many in the national and international marine geoscience community will miss him as an interested and inspiring colleague.

Eystein Jansen

Batteriteknologi – muligheter og utfordringer

Foredrag ved Lars Egil Helseth, professor ved Institutt for fysikk og teknologi, UiB. Arrangører: Fagrådet i Tekna Bergen avdeling i samarbeid med NTVA og Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub. Tid: 27. april kl 19.00.

Om foredraget: Ønsket om å bytte ut fossilt brennstoff med mer miljøvennlige alternativ har muliggjort en en helt ny industri for oppladbare batterier. Dette pådrivet er ytterligere forsterket av EUs forslag om forbud mot salg av bensin- og dieselbiler fra 2035. Per idag er litium-ione batterier de mest realistiske energikildene til bruk i biler og andre mobile enheter, kombinert med superkondensatorer der ekstra stor elektrisk effekt er påkrevd. I dette foredraget vil noe av den relevante teknologien beskrives, sammen med de muligheter og utfordringer som knyttes til denne utviklingen også her i Norge.

Foredraget er gratis og åpent for alle interesserte, og begynner kl. 19.00. Det blir lett servering, og av hensyn til planlegging ønsker vi derfor påmelding

Arrangementet finner sted på Høgskulen på Vestlandet, Kronstad, 1. etasje i M-bygget. Vær ute i god tid, da ytterdøren til bygget vil være stengt når foredraget starter.

Om foredragsholder: Lars Egil Helseth har vært ansatt som professor ved Institutt for Fysikk og Teknologi ved Universitetet i Bergen siden 2008. Han har de siste årene arbeidet med ulike typer teknologi for fornybar energi, som blant annet superkondensatorer, regnceller og solceller. Han har tidligere vært innom et europeisk prosjekt for utvikling av nanostrukturerte silisiumsanoder i litium-ione batterier (2012-2014).

Arrangører: Tekna Bergen, i samarbeid med NTVA og Academia Europaea Bergen.

AE-Bergen Hub Annual Report 2021 is now available

The annual report of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub is now available to download. The report shows a very active year for our Hub despite the many covid restrictions.

Academic Director Eystein Jansen

The annual report of the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub, with an introduction by Academic Director Eystein Jansen, is now available to download.

The annual report can be downloaded here.

For the AE-Bergen Knowledge Hub 2021 has been an important year as Academia Europaea (AE) and the University of Bergen (UiB) in May 2021 renewed their agreement stating that UiB will host and provide facilities and personnel for the running of our Hub for the next four years. Furthermore, our Strategic Plan 2021-2024 was approved by our Advisory Board. In 2021 UiB’s current rector professor Margareth Hagen replaced previous rector Dag Rune Olsen as chair of our Hub’s Advisory Board.

In addition to our own regional and local initiatives and activities in 2021, we have also handled several tasks for AE in general, providing technical and administrative support for the online Class A2 meeting and a joint A1/A2 Class meeting. We have also facilitated running of the “Academia Europaea Task Force on Environment, climate and sustainability”, a committee under the leadership of Professor Verena Winiwarter with members from all classes, set up to provide suggestions for extending AE’s engagement and visibility in these fields.

Academic Director Eystein Jansen writes in his introduction to the annual report:

«I am grateful for our good collaboration within the Academy, its Hubs, The Graz office, the central London Office, and the Board. I will pay a special tribute to our past president Sierd Cloetingh for his strong support for our work and encouragement in terms of extending our role and wish our new president Marja Makarow welcome, whom we already have a very good relationship with through her former role in our Advisory Board. »

 

 

Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment

Will it stay or will it go? A webinar on biodegradable plastics

NORCE scientist Gunhild Bødtker is a working group member and an author on the SAPEA report «Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment».

The report and Dr. Bødtkers findings will be presented at a webinar on March 23rd, CET 01.30 – 03.00 PM, organised by Norce, NTVA, and the County Governor of Vestland County, with Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub as a co-host.

More detailed information below, in Norwegian, as the webinar will be in Norwegian. The webinar will be interesting for AE members in the Scandinavian language areas, with an interest in sustainability, agriculture, or biodegradable plastics.

Plast som er laget for å forsvinne: Webinar om bionedbrytbar plast

Bionedbrytbar plast som er laget for å forsvinne om den skulle ende opp i naturen kan være er en del av løsningen for å redusere opphoping av plast i miljøet. At en plast er bionedbrytbar betyr at mikroorganismer (f.eks. bakterier og sopp) er i stand til å omdanne den – i sin helhet – til CO2 og ny biomasse (dvs nye mikroorganismer).

Bionedbrytbar plast er tenkt brukt til produkter som har høy risiko for å havne i naturen, som fiskeutstyr, plastdeler i fyrverkeri eller plast som brukes i landbruket (f.eks. plastdekke på åker).

23. mars kl 13.30 arrangerer NORCE, NTVA, Forum Landbruksplast og Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub et webinar om bionedbrytbar plast.

Påmelding her.

Tema for webinaret vil være:

  • Hva er bionedbrytbar plast?
  • Hva skal til for at bionedbrytbar plast faktisk bionedbrytes i miljøet?
  • Hvilke effekter kan bionedbrytbar plast og bionedbrytningsprosessen ha på miljøet – for eksempel jordhelse?

Presentasjon ved seniorforsker Gunhild Bødtker i NORCE.

Informasjonen som blir gitt under webinaret er basert på en SAPEA rapport fra 2020 om bionedbrytbar plast i miljøet “Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment”.

En av utfordringene ved bruk av bionedbrytbar plast i Norge er vårt kalde klima. For å få mer innsikt i hvor lang tid det tar for bionedbrytbar plast å forsvinne under typisk norske betingelser, startet NORCE sammen med Akvariet i Bergen, HYDRA Marine Sciences og SAPEA, et forsøk på Akvariet i Bergen – les mer om forsøket på nettsiden BUILT TO BIODEGRADE. Under webinaret får dere vite mer om resultatene fra dette forsøket.

Rebecca Cox is 2022 recipient of the Meltzer Prize

Professor of medical virology and head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen, Rebecca Cox, was recently awarded the Meltzer 2022 Award for excellent science communication. 

Professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen, has been an expert consultant for the Independent Expert Report “Improving pandemic preparedness and management”.

Professor Rebecca Cox, head of the Influenza Centre in Bergen, was recently awarded the Meltzer 2022 Award for excellent science communication. Photo: Kim E. Andreassen

Rebecca Cox has been remarkably visible during the pandemic and during the vaccine rollout, with more than 130 interviews in newspapers and TV during 2020. However, as the Meltzer jury points out, she also contributed to 140 scientific publications, 53 of them the last five years, in leading journals such as Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Europe, Nature Immunology and Nature Medicine.

Read more about the award in the magazine Khrono (in norwegian). 

Professor Rebecca Cox was an expert consultant for the Independent Expert Report “Improving pandemic preparedness and management”, commissioned by the EU. She was nominated by the Academia Europaea Bergen Knowledge Hub (AE-Bergen) for the role.

Read more about her work on the report here.

 

The Academia Europaea expresses solidarity with partners in Ukraine

The Academia Europaea strongly supports the European Union member states, Switzerland, The United Kingdom and the EEA countries’ action against Russia’s belligerent attack on Ukraine, which is in violation of international law. We are following the positions of our partner Academies across Europe.

A statement of the Board of Trustees of the Academia Europaea

 

We are honoured to express our solidarity with all Ukrainian scholars of all disciplines, including our own members and non-members.

The Academia Europaea regards the Russian invasion as an attack on the fundamental values of freedom, democracy and self-determination, which in turn provide the basis for academic freedom and opportunities for academic cooperation.

The Academia Europaea members, are all distinguished international scholars. They have been elected because of their international status in the Sciences, the Humanities and the Social and Societal Sciences, as judged by their European colleagues and peers across our continent. We are proud to include members from the Ukraine and from the Russian Federation on equal terms. Science and scholarship thrive on open dialogue and collaboration. We are therefore especially saddened by this unprovoked action by the Russian government against the Ukraine, which seeks to destroy what we stand for – open dialogue and collaboration of equals. As an organisation, we have always maintained diverse and productive academic collaborations with all our members, from all European countries and we certainly will seek to continue this.

The Academia Europaea is aware of the consequences of this military action and at the same time deeply regrets the impact it will have on freedoms, including academic freedoms. We live in a multidimensional world, and only by means of close international academic cooperation can the crises facing humanity, such as climate change, species extinction or infectious diseases, be overcome. For this reason, our solidarity also goes out to our long-standing Russian members who are themselves now the innocent victims of the Russian regime’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Academia Europaea has noted the statements issued by many other European National Academies and Scientific Organisations and we will continue to respond in concert with them. We are especially pleased to see and wish to thank unreservedly, those organisations with the capabilities, that are putting into place schemes to provide safe havens and funds for Ukrainian researchers. We applaud your efforts.

The statement authorised for publication on 1 March 2022 by the Board of Trustees of the Academia Europaea can be downloaded from the AE website.