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Article type - Perspective

The power of the human exposome


Health is a very important value. The scientific discipline of the human exposome aims to map and measure our environment to study its impact on health, aiming to predict future diseases and prevent their onset. The work of historian-philosopher Michel Foucault shows that science is not solely an objective and rational practice, but highly...

Biomimicry: reinventing nature?


Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines. Self-cleaning paint. A Japanese bullet train. Velcro strap. What do these things have in common? Hard to say from mere appearance. But if one looks closely enough (close enough to look at the micro-scale in some cases), they are all technologies inspired by nature. Birds’ wings, lotus leaves, the...

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Turning pee into drinking water


The availability of potable water from traditional freshwater sources, such as ground and surface water, is declining radically. As a result, research has expanded its focus to new potable water sources. One of them is wastewater – meaning water that has been used already by, among others, households. This used water stems from the...

Traces of digital disruption


Sometimes, the online and the offline world cross paths. Here, you see an analogous trace of the disruption of our daily lives by the digitization of society. This is the gate to the apartment building where I live. Behind it, there is a bright blue staircase in the open air. This staircase has been...

Emilio says hi!


Emiglio is a nostalgic remnant of the 80s and 90s robotic toys. He (or it?) currently resides at the NEST Cultural Centre in the Hague, greeting visitors. First produced by the Giochi Preziosi Toy Company in 1989 under the slogan ‘Emiglio é meglio!’ (Emiglio is better!), he quickly became the most desired Christmas present...

Carbon reciprocity


Carbon is abundant. It can be found in all forms of life. It can be found in rocks and shells. It can be found in non-organic matters such as pencil graphite and coal used in power plants. Carbon is essential for humanity; fossil fuels, which are organic tissues from ancient plants and animals, in...

Energy cornucopia


We buy woke second-hand coats. We put solar panels on our roofs if we have the luxury to do so. And we do our best to turn off the lights when we leave a room. But when all of society is fueled by green energy, there is no need for scarcity anymore. The time...

Man and/or machine?


The development of robots with human-like AI and a human-like appearance may reshape our ideas of our own humanity. In this photo, the statue of a human figure is unclear, representing how, as humanoid robots may become more human-like, the distinction between man and machine may become less distinct. Moreover, we may begin to...

Nature in a box


Nature in a box Is nature a background or a commodity? Here we see the latter, enclosed within a human-sized architectural space that presents it as docile and ready-to-gaze. While urban green is usually a reassuring presence, the heavy architectural elements seem to constrain and stifle any natural impulse, served in a box for...

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