The Code of Sand
Did you realize that sand is a very broad term for a special resource that is highly diverse in its manifestations? Experience how something as ordinary as sand can be highly enchanting upon closer examination.
Did you realize that sand is a very broad term for a special resource that is highly diverse in its manifestations? And that these different manifestations – in shape, size and colour – determine the way sand can be used? Admire wonderful magnified photographs of grains of sand, and discover the beauty they hold. The photographs have been made in the context of a project by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences and the Geological Survey of the Netherlands, and will be introduced and discussed by dr. Sytze van Heteren. Experience how something as ordinary as sand can be highly enchanting upon closer examination.
About Sytze van Heteren
Dr. Sytze van Heteren is a coastal and marine geologist at Geological Survey of the Netherlands (Geologische Dienst Nederland, part of TNO (the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research)). Trained at Vrije Universiteit (VU University) Amsterdam (MSc) and Boston University (PhD), he has more than 25 years of experience conducting and supervising coastal and marine projects in the Netherlands and in the USA. Currently, he coordinates the marine geological mapping programme of the Survey. He chairs the EuroGeoSurveys Marine Geology Expert Group, which harmonizes pan-European marine mapping, and is a member of the Programme Committee of the Netherlands Centre for Coastal Research NCK.
About The World of Sand (21-28 May)
Sand. Ordinary and incredibly diverse. Beautiful. Omnipresent and becoming scarce at the same time. In this theme week, Studium Generale explores the many aspects of this versatile material. What it looks like, how it sounds, how we source it, what you can do with it and, especially, its growing scarcity and the consequences this has.
Did you know that sand is the most consumed raw material on earth after fresh water? And that your smartphone wouldn’t exist without it? It is used for buildings, infrastructure, glass, computers, cosmetics and detergents – omnipresent things in our daily lives. With visions of deserts in your mind it might be hard to imagine, but did you ever realize that sand is a finite source, and actually becoming scarcer? And that the increasing pressure on this resource may have serious implications, ranging from sand conflicts and ecological destruction, to compromised food production and flood protection?
Delve into the everyday and at the same time unknown world of sand, and explore its special nature and role from various angles. Admire its beauty and diversity, and find out why sand has so many different uses. Discover where we get it from and how we extract it. Learn about the social and ecological effects of sand extraction, and discuss what role science and policy could play in promoting sustainable sand use.