Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

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  • A shoe ‘growing back’ into nature: CAS fellow Dr Þóra Pétursdóttir explores 'drift matter' on Sværholt Peninsula in northern Norway, and argues that this kind of material must be taken seriously in archaeology. Photograph: Þóra Pétursdóttir

    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’.

  • Hongtao Li presents app with map

    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.

  • Professor Finnur Larusson explaining his work in pure mathematics at a CAS lunch-time seminar. Photograph: Centre for Advanced Study, CAS Oslo

    ‘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.

  • 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 capital and the lungs of its inhabitants has somehow lifted. Dedicated researchers are the people to thank for this reprieve.

  • Bears have solved some major problems in modern medicine, Professor Jon Swenson says, explaining that CNES, the French space agency, is interested in bear research because bears do not suffer from diseases relating to inactivity, but humans do. For humans involved in space travel, of course, the problem of inactivity is one that requires long-term study. Photograph: Shutterstock

    - 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.

  • Close up picture of a brown bear Photo: Shutterstock

    - 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.

  • Filosofene Camilla Serck-Hansen og Frode Kjosavik

    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.

  • Distinctions between nature and culture are artificial and not as sharp as they might seem, according to the CAS research group led by Professor Marianne Lien. What is culture in the Arctic, if it is understood as cut off from nature? Photograph: Shutterstock

    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?

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