Universiteit Leiden

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'Hello World!' lecture, by Frans W. Saris

Friday 13 May 2022
Lecture Hall
Einsteinweg 57
2333 CC Leiden
Lecture Hall 3

The 'Hello World!' series focuses on new encounters and new inspiration, inviting seven speakers with hugely varying backgrounds to give us their perspectives on what they see as currently important. The third speaker is Frans W. Saris, former Dean of Science, physicist, science writer, and critical supporter of the Media Technology MSc programme. This edition of the 'Hello World!' lecture series is part of the 20 Years Anniversary celebrations of the Media Technology MSc programme.

Sixth Extinction

In his lecture, Frans addresses three alarming crises: energy and climate, biodiversity and food, peace and security, which according to some may lead to the Sixth Extinction.

Computer modeling is used in scenario studies worldwide. Together with our partners in the Netherlands we have created the Energy Transition Model, the Carbon Transition Model and the Agri-food-nature Transition Model; transparent, fact-based, open-source models and decision-support tools for policy makers in government, industry, ngo’s, financial institutions, business and consumer organisations. We have learned that humans should learn not to live from but in symbiosis with nature, including other humans.

However, the challenge remains: can we also develop a Political and Social Transition Model in order to further the social, economic, peace and security requirements and will it be sufficient to avoid extinction?

About Frans W. Saris

Frans W. Saris is chairman of the Foundation Sanegeest, that contributes to both prosperity and well-being through research and education on sustainable development.

As a physicist Frans studied silicon for computer chips and solar cells. He was director of AMOLF (Dutch national academic institute for fundamental physics with high societal relevance), director of ECN (Dutch national energy research centre) and Dean of Science at Leiden University. As science writer he published essays in the literary journal De Gids, NRC, Volkskrant, de Nederlandse Boekengids and several books.

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