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Third "Hello World!" lecture, by Frans W. Saris

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.

Media Technology MSc, 20 Years Anniversary

We proudly announce that Frans W. Saris is the third speaker in our new Media Technology MSc lecture series. This edition of the "Hello World!" lecture series is part of the 20 Years Anniversary celebrations of the Media Technology MSc programme. Previous speakers were theorist of digital culture Lev Manovich, and connector of artists and scientists Teun Verkerk.

Frans W. Saris, "Computer Modeling to Save the World"
Friday May 13, 16:15 - 17:30h.
Lecture hall 3 of the Gorleaus Building, Einsteinweg 57, Leiden.

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.

Can we avoid human extinction?

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?

Students in the Media Technology MSc programme may encounter the name of Frans Saris on a regular basis. Most of the books inside our modest Media Technology library in room 413 were donated to the programme by Frans, as is mentioned on each book. Thank you, Frans.

Frans W. Saris, physicist and science writer

Frans W. Saris (www.franswsaris.nl) 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.

The “Hello World!” lecture series organized by the Media Technology master's programme and focusses on new encounters and new inspiration. In total seven speakers with a huge variety in backgrounds are invited and asked to give us their perspectives on what they see as currently important. The title "Hello World!" summarizes both the intention of the lecture series and is also the very first sentence a beginning computer programmer learns to print on the screen.

(Photo at top of page: Frans Saris, photo respectfully borrowed from Volkskrant.nl)

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