Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

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  • Spraps of things left by the Germans in the POW camps in Norddal.

    The heritage of war

    In autumn 1944, Norddal, in the north of Troms County, was occupied by German army forces in retreat. They had brought with them an unknown number of Soviet prisoners, who were distributed among four prisoner-of-war (POW) camps. When the war ended, the camps were abandoned and their stories almost lost in time.

  • Hansen's disease, hands of old man suffering from leprosy, amputated hands. Karen Thornber describes the disease as highly stigmatised in many societies, despite its being completely curable and not very contagious. Photograph: Shutterstock

    Humanities can help improve human health

    Karen Thornber argues that humanities can help improve human health and in particular can alert us to the need to tackle persistent stigmas against diseases.

  • Erlend Fornæss Wold and Berit Stensønes are group leaders of the CAS maths project 2016/2017 Photo: Centre for Advanced Study, CAS Oslo

    – Complex numbers make the world bigger

    Their mathematics is already used outside the mathematical sphere, from calculating an asteroid’s position to measuring the size of an iceberg, but Berit Stensønes believes it is only the beginning of the developments and applications of these powerful tools.

  • Robert Macfarlane in Greenland summer 2016. Photo: Helen Spenceley

    Articulating the Anthropocene

    We are Generation Anthropocene, according to Robert Macfarlane, who argues that our need for change seems to greatly exceed our capacity to make it happen.

  • Bryan Tilt held a seminar during lunch for all the scholars at CAS Oslo.

    Air pollution: ‘I haven’t seen the stars for years’

    Our second lunch-time seminar this semester was given by Associate Professor Bryan Tilt, who shared his research on perceptions of air pollution in rural and urban areas in China: – There is little research on whether one needs to have reached a certain economic level in order to worry about environmental issues.

  • In 2012, the Komafest art festival invited international artists to decorate houses in Vardø, Norway, to highlight some of the issues of depopulation. Photograph: Saphinaz-Amal Naguib

    Vardø’s rich street art scene: Will the city become an ecomuseum?

    In our first lunch-time seminar this spring, Professor Saphinaz-Amal Naguib took us to Vardø, Norway’s most north-easterly city, near the border with Russia. She introduced us to a rich street art scene that depicts the large-scale depopulation of this arctic city.

  • Hein B. Bjerck shared his reflections on the scorched things that survived a fire in his eighty-five-year-old uncle’s home in 2013. Photograph: Hein B. Bjerck

    Charred Memories: Ephemeral survivors in my uncle’s burnt-out home

    According to Hein Bjerck, cognitive memories of things in a home cannot be inherited, because they do not reside in the things themselves, but in the relations among things and personal mindscapes.

  • View of Yinchuan city (Ningxia province, China) during sand storm. December 7 dr. Susanne Stein will visit CAS and give the seminar From Desertification Alarm to ‘Health Killer’: Shifting Interpretations of Dust Storms in Contemporary China

    Dust storms is a health killer, but disappeared from the public debate

    Throughout time sand and dust storms have been a topic in Chinese historical records. Although they are widely understood as a “health killer” today, they have almost disappeared from public debate, scholar argues.

  • – Barnebarnet mitt har vokst opp med en bestemor som er matematiker, og tror matte er et typisk kvinneyrke. Men det er jo ikke det, sier professor Berit Sensønes.

    – Det er vanskeligere for kvinner å komme seg opp og fram i matematikken

    Professor Berit Stensønes gir publiseringskrav og kvotering mye av skylda.

  • Professor Zhaohui Liu interviews rural-to-rural migrant citizens about air pollution. The scholars in the Airborne project at CAS find that few are aware of the significant health impact that is the result of household-produced air pollution, which is especially significant among the poorer and rural population. Copy right: Airborne. Photo: Annica Thomsson

    Air pollution in China: Poor people likely to be worst off

    CAS researchers expect that the rural population and poor migrants in cities will be the hardest hit when it comes to air pollution exposure. Professor Mette Halskov Hansen hopes that the CAS project she leads can help raise awareness and promote debate.

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