Ballast: Loads with history
Ballast, the material used to stabilize ships, is the object of study for archaeologist and CAS fellow Professor Mats Burström. He describes ballast in terms of being a ‘gigantic relocation of material’.
Object Study: Blok P
Blok P in Nuuk was built by the Danes in an effort to urbanise Greenland in the 1960s: one per cent of Greenland’s population have since called Blok P their home. It was demolished in 2012.
We are not in control of the afterlife of things
The plastic bag, which we estimate can last for up to five hundred years, shows that we are not in control of the afterlife of things, states CAS participant and postdoctoral fellow, Dr Þóra Pétursdóttir. She argues that plastic, shoes, fishing nets and all kinds of materials found along the world’s shores must be understood as part of our ‘environment’.
Fighting air pollution with apps
How are apps and social media creating new ways to combat air pollution? During his CAS lunch-time seminar, Associate Professor Hongtao Li sheds light on how new technology is influencing the air pollution debate in China.
‘Spaces of Spaces’
Every semester, CAS fellows are challenged to present their research to the other project groups at lunch-time seminars. For the pure mathematicians, having to explain their work to the uninitiated might be considered something of a challenge.
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 capital and the lungs of its inhabitants has somehow lifted. Dedicated researchers are the people to thank for this reprieve.
- Bears have solved major problems of modern medicine
Bears increase their weight by fifty per cent during the autumn, and then they lie down to hibernate for six months. According to Professor Jon Swenson, who has been studying bears for over thirty years, a human who did this would never get up again. During our interview, Swenson explains why the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency, is interested in his data on bears.
- Humans, not climate, cause extinction
The CAS project on harvested large mammals is a significant example of how basic research can fruitfully, if unpredictably, enhance new knowledge across fields.
Beyond the limits of science
- We learnt from Kant that science has a tendency to go beyond its own limits, Professor Camilla Serck-Hanssen says. She is working on the oldest, most basic philosophical questions that to untrained minds might seem unanswerable. Together with Professor Frode Kjosavik she leads a metaphysical research project at CAS, pursuing questions that science cannot answer.
Where does nature end and culture begin?
Through different stories about ways of living in the Arctic, Professor Marianne Lien and her research group at CAS challenge what they see as the dominant understanding of relations among humans, animals, and landscapes. What is culture in the Arctic, if it is understood as cut off from nature?