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25.07.2017 | Prof. Achim Walter, ETH Zürich | Natural resources | 2 Comments

Escaping the hamster wheel

Technology opens the doors to new worlds. Yet it’s both a blessing and a curse, and as scientists, we should take care not to drive the wheel of development on faster than we need to. Summer might be the ideal time for a light-hearted look at this idea. Read more 

14.07.2017 | Prof. Harald Bugmann, ETH Zurich | Natural resources

Mountain forests don’t need humans – but we need them

Forests in the mountain regions of our planet are fragile ecosystems, suffering from the impact of climate change. However, to survive in the long-term, these ecosystems do not need human intervention. It is rather the humans in the mountain regions who depend on healthy forests and the protection they provide. Read more 

10.07.2017 | Verena Tiefenbeck, ETH Zürich | Energy

Smart technology needs smart users

What’s the point of smart assistants and intelligent electricity meters if people don’t use them correctly? In order to cope with the energy transition, we need a combination of digital technologies and smart user behaviour – and the social sciences can help. Read more 

06.07.2017 | Prof. Isabel Günther, ETH Zürich | Energy | 1 Comment

The impact of solar lighting in rural Kenya

While climate change has led many high-income countries to increase their efforts to improve energy efficiency and to invest in renewable energies, households in low-income countries still face another energy challenge: more than 1 billion people lack access to electricity. Could solar lights offer a solution? Read more 

23.06.2017 | Prof. Tobias Schmidt, ETH Zurich | Climate change | 3 Comments

Technological innovation “trumps” politics

Technological innovation, often induced by national and sub-national policies, is a key driver of global climate and energy policy ambition and action. Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement will hardly affect this trend. Read more 

06.06.2017 | Eduardo Pérez, ETH Zürich | World food system | 2 Comments

Disruptive forces in the food system

Digitalisation is drastically changing the agro-food sector. Though this is not the first time that we face technological disruption, the speed and scale of change is greater than ever before. How can we move forward responsibly? Read more 

22.05.2017 | Christoph Küffer, ETH Zürich | Natural resources

A love for the common species

The key instrument in the protection of species – the red list– is a register of particularly rare species. The principle is that the rarer a species, the more urgent are the measures to prevent its extinction. However, this distracts from the fact that Nature should be rich in common species. Read more 

09.05.2017 | Nina Boogen, ETH Zürich | Energy

Swiss households could save energy

Efficient use of electricity is central to Energy Strategy 2050. But how much electricity-saving potential do Swiss households actually have? And which factors influence this efficiency? Read more 

04.05.2017 | Iselin Medhaug, ETH Zürich | Climate change

What's left of the warming pause

After two years of record-breaking temperatures, the global warming pause – and public interest along with it – has melted away. Scientists’ failure to engage with the media led to a fierce public debate about the end of climate change that now appears to have been a storm in a teacup. Read more 

21.04.2017 | Prof. Achim Walter, ETH Zürich | World food system | 1 Comment

More variety? Eat buckwheat!

What will it take to make our agroecosystems more diverse and secure? Take buckwheat, for example – an ancient grain-like plant with considerable potential. It's not related to cereals, yet produces storable seeds and can taste anything from deliciously tart to bitter. Read more 

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