We can’t ignore the fact that humanity is having a major impact on this planet. Our use of fossil fuels is causing the Earth to heat up, and biodiversity has also taken a hit. This is all deeply troubling but, as Campus Talks (the University of Twente’s talk show) will reveal on 2 March, there is still hope. For example, satellite images can help us to restore natural environments, data centres are becoming increasingly energy efficient, and students are doing everything they can to make their residences more sustainable.
The latest episode of Campus Talks – which will be presented by the philosopher of technology Peter-Paul Verbeek – will feature Professor Wieteke Willemen as a studio guest. Prof. Willemen’s research at the University of Twente explores what nature has to offer people, a concept known as ‘ecosystem services’. People do not always exercise sufficient care in their interactions with the natural environment. As a result, it is now under threat. With the help of satellite images, Wieteke Willemen is attempting to identify the smartest ways of preserving and restoring nature.
Another guest on this program will be Dr Yuri Engelhardt. Dr Engelhardt helped to found Scientists4Future Twente. This is a group of University of Twente academics who are concerned about global warming. S4F Twente is working to clarify the communication of scientific insights about climate change. This collective hopes to induce policymakers and companies, as well as members of the public themselves, to take action on the climate. In his column, which is entitled Show me the data!, Erik Kemp reveals various ways in which infographics can be used to illustrate global warming.
At the University of Twente, a great deal of research is focused on the massive amounts of energy consumed by data centres. This is not restricted to the university’s own facilities, it also includes data centres used by organisations throughout the world. For example, new Google and Microsoft parks are springing up everywhere, like mushrooms after the rain, and they are working overtime during the pandemic. Dr Judith Inberg (Centre for Energy Innovation) will explain what steps can be taken to make data centres more energy efficient. She will explore the topics of energy management and the use of new technology, such as Artificial Intelligence.
The students have not been standing idly by either. In the so-called Eco Challenge they compete for the honour of being the most sustainable student residence in Enschede. Nor are they standing idly by in the figurative sense – the members of Break-Even (the breakdance & hip-hop student association) put on a display of dance energy.
Campus Talks S02E02
From 19:30 to 20:15, on Tuesday 2 March