In the aftermath of the American elections, discussions about knowledge and truth have been framed by concepts of post-truth and alternative facts. Even among those of us who consider themselves experts in the processes of truth-making and knowledge creation, this framing has stirred things up, reactivating old fault lines in the STS community (see the … Continue reading Post-truth and other truths
Data seems to be everywhere in contemporary society, including energy. Precisely because of this ubiquity, it is important to consider how data is created and used, and how it circulates, so that we can understand the implications for the energy transition, whether in the business sector, private and public life. The intersection of energy and … Continue reading Big Data and Energy: crucial intersection
In 2018, one of the activities I’ll be pursuing as visiting professor at the Department of Science and Technology studies (blog) at the University of Vienna is giving a course on energy and big data. This will be the occasion to explore with students of the Masters programme in Science and Technology Studies how energy … Continue reading When Big Data and Energy Meet
I am experiencing an eating problem. Not an eating disorder, not a food issue, but a problem with eating. It's been developing these past few months and is now getting to be troublesome. There seems to be a growing disconnection between eating habits, hunger, exercise and diet. This is a multi-dimensional problem, but if I … Continue reading Eating Problem
Average Joe and Plain Jane are two North American ways of expressing in everyday speech the typical, normal, just plain, average person. In Weten Vraagt Meer Dan Meten, the concluding chapter points to the tendency in professional and expert contexts to compare people via measurements, with a particular emphasis on averages. The various contributors to … Continue reading Measuring People up and Database Logic
My review of a number of recent scholarly contributions on energy and sustainability has just appeared in De Nederlandse Boekengids (nov 2017). While diverse and wide-ranging, the many insightful analyses contained in these publications demonstrate the power of imagination in overcoming the current energy impasse. The various authors also apply incisive critical thought to fossil … Continue reading Have you heard of Energy Humanities?
In a piece taken up in Energy Humanities: An Anthology, the grande dame of Canadian letters Margaret Atwood wonders about the power of literature to fight climate change: Could cli-fi be a way of educating young people about the dangers that face them, and helping them to think through the problems and divine solutions? Or … Continue reading Margaret Atwood and Energy
At our meet-up on Friday, we watched and debated VPRO's documentary De Doorbraak van Duurzaam from the Backlight series. The focus of the documentary is the point we have reached with regards to the financial and technological status of renewable energy: we've hit the moment when producing energy from renewable sources is cheaper that producing it … Continue reading What will bring about the energy transition?
A troublesome 'list' has been circulating on Facebook lately, variously taking on the shape of a meme, coffee mug or t-shirts. It's meant as a defense of science in the face of post-truth Trumpianisms and of recent waves of media attention to anti-science activists and extreme deniers. Here is the pic in question, in one … Continue reading I won’t ‘like’ your post: let’s move beyond potshots in public discourse on science
In one week, 25 PhD students from all over the world will gather at the University of Groningen for ten intensive days of learning on the topic of Global Energy Transition from Local Perspectives. The programme for this summer school is diverse, from lectures to excursions. Central to this programme is an active involvement for … Continue reading Learning to interface at the Groningen Energy Summer School 2017