Navigation path

Library Image


Dear Reader,

The dual challenge posed by climate change and the transition to a post-carbon society calls for the increasing involvement of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Whether its measuring the economic impact of global warming; assessing the circumstances surrounding social adaptation to new energy and environmental modals; studying long-term behavioural change; defining new forms of governance in business or the city; positioning new geo-political relationships; or analysing potential conflicts (over water rights, for example); SSH perspectives are becoming increasingly necessary. Against this backdrop, the Science, Economy and Society Directorate is organising a large conference (Towards a "post carbon society") in Brussels on 24 October. The conference will resonate with a study we suggested launching in FP7 "on socioeconomic factors and actors that shape the 'post carbon' society".

We were pleased to learn that the Union's future French presidency is planning to mobilise the Social Sciences and Humanities and aid in unifying European groups under the rubric of 'global change'. Europe, which has laboured tirelessly for the adoption of the Kyoto protocol and which, at the Spring 2007 European council, retained its ambitious objectives in the face of global warming, has without a doubt an eminent role to play. The scientific community within Social Sciences and Humanities is already mobilised, and for our part, we are eager to contribute to their efforts.

Jean-Michel BaerJean-Michel Baer
Director, Directorate L
Science, Economy and Society

Trust and communication: keys to public acceptance of nanotechnology
Since the media first picked up on nanotechnology towards the end of the 20th Century, reports have, in turn, presented it as the solution to all of the planet's problems, from disease to climate change and energy supply, or spoken of nanorobots taking over the world, the dangers to health and the environment of nanoparticles, and the military's interest in new nanotechnologies.