Our digital dossiers consist of news, background stories and interviews. They focus on social issues and topical subjects about which Utrecht University has a great deal of knowledge. The accompanying experts are listed with their names and contact details in each dossier.
Our air quality is under pressure. Researchers from Utrecht work on it on a daily basis. Take a look into a cross section of their research.
Big data and artificial intelligence
The emergence of big data and artificial intelligence creates new economic and social opportunities, but also entails risks in the areas of privacy, ethics, a level playing field, democratic control, autonomy and security. Researchers from Utrecht University examine this issue from different angles
What is biodiversity and why is it important? Researchers at Utrecht University share their expertise from a wide variety of research groups.
Black Lives Matter
The death of George Floyd, the black American who was killed by police violence, has resulted in protests against racism worldwide. As a result, the Black Lives Matter movement has become prominent on the agenda. Various scholars at Utrecht University are contributing to this social debate.
Modern agriculture is able to produce large quantities of food at low prices, but often at the expense of the environment and biodiversity. Circular agriculture tries to minimize the use of external resources by relying on natural processes, producing resources locally and by reusing waste streams.
The current climate change has big consequences for humans and environment worldwide. How can we deal with this complex issue, the biggest challenge for mankind? Researchers from Utrecht University study the climate, the Greenhouse effect, climate change and the role of humans. And in this way, contribute to a sustainable future.
The coronavirus has an enormous impact on our society. And over a long period of time. Utrecht University is working interdisciplinarily to combat the virus and to find solutions to the social issues that the virus brings with it.
Divorce and family
About a third of all marriages end in a divorce. And non-married couples do not always live happily ever after either. What does science tell about the phenomenon of divorce? Are we so much happier when we are freed from the partner? And how do children experience a divorce (battle) of their parents?
Drought and groundwater
Over the last 30 years, Dutch summers have been getting progressively drier, and current research predicts that that development will continue. What is the impact of this? And how do we better prepare for droughts and water scarcity?
The winning of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, crude oil and coal, harms both nature and environment and contributes to the Greenhouse effect. Additionally, fossil fuels are slowly depleted. This calls for a transition towards sustainable energy sources, such as sun, wind and geothermal energy. Researchers from Utrecht University shed light on these transitions from different angles.
Gender and Emancipation
Utrecht-based scientists conduct research on gender (in)equality between men and women from a variety of disciplines, such as gender studies, social sciences, history, philosophy and economics. In this dossier, Utrecht University brings together current examples of its expertise in the field of gender and emancipation.
Good language development determines the well-being and happiness of young children, not just during their youth but also later in life. You use language to make clear what you want, to communicate with your parents or peers and to understand each other. What causes differences between the language development of individual children?
Thanks to revolutionary developments in stem cell research, scientists can grow organoids, lab-grown miniature versions of organs, in the lab. They are are transforming science and medicine. Researchers from Utrecht are joining forces and growing, among other things, mini intestines, livers and kidneys for medical research and testing medicines.
It is estimated that about eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year. What are the consequences of this? And can we think of sustainable alternatives to plastic? Utrecht researchers examine this issue from different angles.
We think our privacy is important, it's a spearhead in election programmes. But there is a complicating factor: data protection and freedom of communication are at odds with security and the fight against crime. How do we deal with this?
Prosperity and income inequality
Are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Can we measure prosperity? How can we achieve a better distribution of wealth? In this dossier, Utrecht researchers discuss this issue from different angles.
Is the current refugee problem unique in history? Can you make a clear distinction between a refugee and a migrant? Which rights do refugees have? How can Europe deal with this? In this dossier, Utrecht University brings together the knowledge and insights that its researchers have added to this subject.
Social media and screen usage
Social media and games have become an integral part of young people's lives. This has advantages, but screen usage also has negative consequences. Utrecht researchers examine these issues from different angles.
Every year hundreds of dead porpoises are washed ashore on the Dutch coastline. The large porpoise populations in Dutch waters mean that the likelihood of carcasses being washed ashore is high, with in recent times up to 800 cases a year. As to what could be causing these deaths; that is what we are investigating at the Department of Pathology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
Sustainable Labour Market
We are struggling with increasing staff shortages in healthcare and education. At the same time, unemployed people over the age of 50 hardly get hored. How can we achieve a more balanced and sustainable labour market? Researchers from Utrecht are study this issue from different angles.
Terrorism and radicalisation
What motivates young people to join an extremist or terrorist movement? What is the best way to fight terrorism, and how have countries dealt with it in the past? How much data can intelligence services collect on citizens if it means preventing attacks?
The facts on the table: from fake news to filter bubble
Fact and fiction. Sense and nonsense. In order to be able to make the distinction between what is true and what is false, we should inform ourselves. But what if we are guided by incorrect or one-sided information? If we allow something like fake news to influence our position on, for example, climate change or whether or not to vaccinate children?
On 24 February what had been hanging in the air for weeks became a reality: Russia invaded Ukraine. By so doing, Vladimir Putin wants, among other things, to prevent NATO from further expanding towards 'his front door'. But what is the background to that? What are the consequences of this war to the European Union? Just how effective are sanctions against Russia?