Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future


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We are moving toward a future in which energy and information will be the dominant features of civilization. We will be forced to exploit sunlight as our ultimate energy source, converting it into useful energy forms by photochemical and photophysical processes. We will continue to miniaturize devices for information and communication technology down to the molecular level and we will use, more and more, light signals to transfer, store, and retrieve information.

More specifically, there are important relationships between light and life besides the already mentioned phenomenon of vision: damages caused by exposure to UV light, benefits deriving from light-based therapeutic processes, photocatalysis for environmental protection, fluorescence for labeling biomolecules, and bioluminescence processes. Other applications of photochemistry and photophysics include: photochromic compounds, luminescence sensors comprising, e.

What role have the humanities, and philosophy in particular, played in your work as a scientist?

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I believe that responsible scientists, while creating, with the greatest moral care, new science and technology, should also play an important role as authoritative, informed, and concerned citizens of the planet Earth. We need scientists with a sound cultural background, well aware of the human condition. Scientists concerned about the world in which we live and the society that we are going to construct.


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Scientists capable of producing first class science, but also engaged in helping to change what is wrong in the social and political organization of our nations and of the entire world. Scientists with the desire to reach beyond the confines of their laboratories and help to make the world a better place. We need scientists speaking up with decision-makers and politicians on the key issues of our planet: the irresponsible depletion of resources, the reckless increase of pollution, the intolerable and ever increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, and the foolish idea of using war as a means to solve political controversies.

Some scientists will not agree with this position. They deny legitimacy to make suggestions, offer advises, and particularly to express opinions on social and political issues. But this means to deny the responsibility that comes from knowledge and from the privileges that scientists enjoy in our societies. Has philosophy of science contributed to clarify any methodological or conceptual issue you have faced, and, more in general, which role do you think philosophy of science should have in interacting with the sciences?

Your research has involved the close interaction of chemistry, physics and engineering. As mentioned above point 1 , I have always worked within a research team. We are no longer in the old days when science could be done just for fun and scientists could live in an ivory tower.

Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future

The same is true for politicians and decision makers. I do believe that living and working alone in a fragile and complex world is neither rewarding nor useful. In the last few years you have been much committed to scientific dissemination.

I fully agree with Richard R. Who else, if not the scientists, is responsible for setting guidelines for defining progress and for protecting the interests of future generations?

Solar-driven chemistry: towards new catalytic solutions for a sustainable world | SpringerLink

Yes, philosophy of science and history of science should be included in science curricula at universities. Chemists as well as engineers, physicists, etc. Philosophy helps to make our work more creative and to keep open the windows of our labs and to look what happens in our town, in our nation and in the entire world. Vincenzo Balzani, member of the Accademia dei Lincei , is emeritus professor of Chemistry at the University of Bologna. He is the author of about publications in international journals.

In he was the recipient of the Nature Award for Mentoring in Science. The further that alternative energy must improve to catch up to oil, the larger the relative decrease in consumption will be.

Energy for a Sustainable World

If alternative energy remains less productive than oil, we will suffer falling growth, possibly for a prolonged period, as we are forced to switch to the less efficient alternative. If instead, alternative energy always remains oil's weaker cousin, then the eventual result is a world that is at best nostalgic of the heydays of cheap oil," says Dr Barreto.

Materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Science News. Story Source: Materials provided by University of Adelaide. Journal Reference : Raul A. Fossil fuels, alternative energy and economic growth.

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I accept. Johnny Wood Writer, Formative Content. How do we build a sustainableworld? Submit a video. Most Popular. Scientists have been investigating the Loch Ness monster.

The inspiring story behind this picture of two world leaders Rosamond Hutt 18 Sep More on the agenda. Forum in focus. Read more about this project. Explore context. Explore the latest strategic trends, research and analysis.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about the transition to clean energy? Have you read? India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time Renewable energy is getting cheaper and it's going to change everything Women in India are tackling the rural energy crisis with solar power.

Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future
Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future
Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future
Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future
Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future
Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future Energy for a Sustainable World: From the Oil Age to a Sun-Powered Future

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