Nobel Week Dialogue

9th December 2013
Gothenburg

Exploring the Future of Energy

Expanding the energy economy in the name of public health

Speaker after speaker at the Nobel Dialogue emphasized that one of the biggest challenges of the upcoming decades will be bringing more of the world’s population into the energy economy, providing them with access to electricity and the other benefits that can accompany it, like refrigeration for food and medical supplies. The benefits don’t stop […]

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A selection of photos from #NWD13

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The future of energy: clear or cloudy?

We know the future of energy usage that we want: A rapidly decreasing reliance on fossil fuels with a greater share of global energy use going to people in the developing world. We also know the current state of technology and the rate at which this are changing. Is it possible to get these two […]

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The future of nuclear power discussion at nwd13

Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize winner and former Director General of CERN, has spent his more recent career thinking about energy, and he has some strong thoughts on nuclear power. Those thoughts have been driven in part by climate change; nuclear provides the only source of low-carbon electricity that can be deployed anywhere. But they’ve also […]

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“Ich probiere”: Revisiting Abraham Flexner’s dream of the useful pursuit of useless knowledge.

The most succinct encapsulation of the value of curiosity to practical pursuits came from Michael Faraday; when asked by William Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer, about the utility of electricity, Faraday is purported to have replied, “One day, sir, you may tax it”. Whether apocryphal or not, the remark accurately captures the far-reaching, often universal […]

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It’s the future, take it?

Sociologists like to talk about the sociology of expectations, the manufacture of futures. You can’t just say “it’s the future, take it” (or at least you can’t and not just sound like a bit of a tool). But futures are made, not least by imagining what we might expect, and those expectations can be managed. […]

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The future of nuclear power

There was an interesting panel debate about nuclear power in the afternoon session at the Nobel Week Dialogue in Gothenburg today. The panelists, including the Nobel Laureates Steven Chu and Carlo Rubbia, seemed to disagree what role nuclear power — both fission and fusion — should play in the future. Chu, former US energy secretary […]

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Running to scissors: decoupling energy use and economic growth

There was a metaphor that made a number of appearances at this year’s Nobel Week Dialog: opening scissors. To get the metaphor, you have to look at graphs. In the closed-scissors portion of things, two items remain linked, and run along the graph in parallel. In fact, the correlation has run so deeply into history […]

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Effektdeklarera energi

På dagens Nobel Week Dialogue drog tidigare Nobelpristagaren och Obamas tidigare energiminister, Steven Chu, likheter mellan de skador som rökning orsakar och användningen av energi. Det fick mig att tänka på att vi kanske borde “effektdeklarera” energislag.  Eftersom vi nu har “effektdeklarering” (varningsetiketter) på cigarettpaket, så borde det inte vara så svårt att ta ett steg […]

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The benefits of basic research

Speaking at this morning’s session at the Nobel Week Dialogue in Gothenburg was former US energy secretary Steven Chu. Chu, who spent four years as energy secretary, pointed out the benefits of basic research and how it could have unexpected applications. His research, for which he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997, was […]

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