With more and more EU citizens living in cities, Horizon finds out how science has the potential to transform life in Europe’s crowded urban areas.
From personal helicopters to lift people out of Europe’s congested streets, to the latest electric vehicles, high-tech office designs, or smart electricity meters to cut energy consumption, our Science and the City issue looks at how cities can help solve Europe’s environmental and energy challenges.
We interview Anne Stenros, who led a group of experts that helped to develop the EU’s Capital of Innovation Award, to hear how cities can build an innovative culture from the grass roots, and we speak to those involved in a project to bring science centres, museums, and festivals to European cities to inspire a new generation of researchers.
Dr Anne Stenros, who chaired a group of experts that helped formulate the concept of the EU’s Capital of Innovation (iCapital) competition and is also Design Director at Finnish lift-maker KONE, believes the EUR 500 000 award can help stimulate 'grass roots’ innovation through things like 3D printing and high-tech design.
Commuters could be lifted out of the noise and pollution of Europe’s overcrowded cities thanks to a group of researchers who are laying down the groundwork for the development of a personal helicopter system as an alternative to land-based travel.
In November, Horizon discovers a futuristic world of transparent e-books, plastic solar cells and electronic skin with a look at some of the applications of organic electronics. We speak to organic chemist Prof. Andreas Hirsch about how using carbon rather than silicon in electronics can make them flexible, lightweight and biocompatible and could lead to a new generation of human-looking robots and ‘chemical’ computing. We take a look at work to create electronic skin – self-healing, stretchable material that can mimic some of the functions of human skin – and its potential uses. We discover how thin, flexible, plastic solar cells could turn surfaces such as cars and fabric into sources of renewable energy, and we uncover some novel approaches to charging wearable electronics.
The world looks very different from this time last year. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the centrality of science, research and innovation, accelerated some changes already in the works, but also exposed our weaknesses. In September, Horizon looks at how the pandemic is reshaping Europe in areas including health research, work, tech, transport and food – and how research can contribute to Europe’s recovery over the coming years. We will also be covering the European Research & Innovation Days at the end of the month, which will bring together scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs and citizens to debate how research and innovation can ensure that the transition to a post-coronavirus society is sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
In three decades of diving at locations including the Red Sea and Great Barrier Reef, Gal Eyal has seen coral reefs transform in front of his eyes.
Imagine lying on a green hill watching the clouds go by on a beautiful day. The clouds you’re probably thinking of are cumulous clouds, the ones that resemble fluffy balls of cotton wool. They seem innocent enough. But they can grow into the more formidable cumulonimbus, the storm cloud. These are the monsters that produce thunder and lightning. They are powerful, destructive and intensely mysterious. They may also be getting a lot more common, which makes understanding their workings – and their effects on the human world, including how we construct buildings or power lines – more important than ever.
Scientists are studying past conditions to understand which corals migrated to deeper waters.
A lack of knowledge about thunderstorms means we could be overengineering our tallest buildings.
Dr Kate Rychert studies ocean plate structures.