Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters


  • 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.

  • A recently abandoned apartment house in Nikel, Kola Peninsula. How does living with this ruining Soviet legacy affect the inhabitants, their prospects for the future, and how they remember the past, Bjørnar Olsen and his CAS research group asks photo: Bjørnar Olsen

    Life among Soviet ruins: – the past is still present

    Most people in Northwestern Russia and on the Kola Peninsula live in apartment blocks constructed during the time of Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev; many of these apartments are in a serious state of decay.

  • Blog

    Room for interdisciplinary engagement

    The leaves on the magnificent trees outside our building here in Oslo have turned yellow and red—the tell-tale sign that the academic year is underway.

  • Savannah Georgia, pebblestones, Liverpoool, ballast

    Ballast: Loads with history

    Ballast, the material used to stabilize ships, is the object of study for archaeologist and CAS Fellow professor Burström. He understands ballast as a “Gigantic relocation of material”.

  • Demolition of Blok P, by Cartsen Ankiksdal

    Object Study, Blok P

    Blok P in Nuuk was built by the Danes in an effort to urbanize Greenland in the 60s, and 1 % of Greenland’s population have since called Blok P their home. It was demolished in 2012.

  • Plastiglomerates: Much of the material Þóra Pétursdóttir analyses cannot be traced to a specific place or culture - they have moreover been thoroughly transformed and removed from their initial function. Here is a picture she has taken of a 'plastiglomerate'- natural material held together by plastic.

    - We are not in control of the afterlife of things

    - The plastic bag, which we estimate can live up to 500 years, manifests that we are not in control of the afterlife of things, CAS fellow and postdoc Þóra Pétursdóttir says, and argues why plastic, shoes, fishing nets and all kinds of materials found on the world’s shores must be understood as part of our “environment”.

  • Hongtao Li presents app with map

    Fighting air pollution with apps

    How are apps and social media creating new ways to combat air pollution? Associate professor Hongtao Li sheds light on how new technology is influencing the air pollution debate in China during his CAS lunch seminar.

  • In his lunch seminar “Spaces of spaces” at CAS, Prof. Finnur Larusson took the opportunity to talk more generally about his field describing pure mathematics as 'mathematics for its own sake, driven by its own internal forces'.

    "Spaces of Spaces"

    Every semester, CAS fellows are challenged to present their research to the other research groups at the centre over lunch, and explaining work in pure mathematics can definitively be considered a challenge.

  • Air pollution Beijing

    Clear skies over China– The magic of science

    It’s the Olympic Games in Beijing and the heavy smog that usually fills the air of the capitol and the lungs of its inhabitants has somehow lifted. Dedicated researchers are to thank.

  • - Bears have solved major problems of modern medicine, Professor Jon Swenson says, explaining that French Space Agency is interested in bear research because bears don't get any of the human diseases related to inactivity. In this picture NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis moves through a cloud after a successful liftoff on Nov. 16, 2009 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

    - Bears have solved major problems of modern medicine

    - Bears gain 50 percent of their weight during the fall, and then they lay down for six months. A human would never get up again, Professor Jon Swenson says. He explains why the French Space Agency is interested in his data on bears.