Recently, I watched “Future builders”, a programme on Dutch television about young, talented Dutch designers. The designers were interviewed during the Dutch Design Week, held in Eindhoven, and one of them was awarded a cash prize by a professional jury.
It was encouraging to see that sustainability, and all it stands for, was a high priority for these designers. The search for really sustainable solutions to climate change clearly inspires and motivates them. They want to make an impact, and not just design a beautiful and original product. For them, design is a tool for change. Reduction of raw material consumption, searching for alternative energy sources and life style changes are decisive starting points.
It is also stimulating to see that more and more companies and banks want to invest in such initiatives, simply because they are profitable. The central government also supports sustainable economic growth with various subsidy schemes.
However, it’s important to realise that fundamental scientific research, a basic understanding of the climate system, including the natural and human-caused factors that affect it, remains the basis on which all meaningful measures have to be taken and consequences have to be predicted.
Like designers, researchers need to be creative, out-of-the box thinkers and pioneers. In this newsletter, we’ll focus on young, talented IMAU researchers and more established ones that contribute to the basic science of the oceans, atmosphere and cryosphere.