Lunch lectures

Published on
October 9, 2018

These lunch lectures are about historical WUR discoveries in Environmental Science and look back on the past, the present and also look ahead to the future and its impact on society.

Dates: 16-18 October
Time: 12.15 lunch, lecture 12.30-14.30
Location: Orion
Language: English

Tuesday 16 October: Anaerobic sustainability around the world


  • Prof. Emeritus Gatze Lettinga, Wageningen University
  • Dr. Viet Nguyen Trung,  Center for Environmental Technology and Management
  • Dr. Annemiek ter Heijne, Environmental Technology Group, Wageningen University

Through the work of Gatze Lettinga, Wageningen University has emerged as an international centre for anaerobic water treatment. Modern Anaerobic Digestion and Anaerobic Wastewater Treatment systems have opened numerous doors to innovative sustainable technologies, making it significantly broader, enabling us and other researchers to exceeds the borders of specific domains in which Wageningen University and Research is active and could, perhaps should, become active in new integrated settings in the future. This seminar will explore the challenges and hurdles, successes and failures, the technological achievements and the remaining options for technologies based on anaerobic processes. And reflect on how this scientific breakthrough has made its way into the industrial and the public sanitation sectors in Vietnam and Africa. The three speakers will also reflect on the what is still has to be achieved to embed anaerobic technologies further into discussions of sustainable development into the future.

Wednesday October 17: Ecological modernisation as a path to sustainability


  • Prof. Gert Spaargaren, Wageningen University
  • Prof. Arthur Mol, Wageningen University

Environmental science is an integrated science. But the contribution of the social sciences is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Wageningen University has been at the forefront of facilitating integrated science in which social questions play a central role. Central to such approaches has been the rise of ecological modernisation as a field of social scientific inquiry that integrates material environmental change. Ecological modernisation has evolved our understanding on solutions to environmental problems from so called technical ‘end of pipe’ interventions focused on state regulation, to environmental solutions as shaping the organisation of industry, governments and the everyday practices of citizens. This seminar will reflect on Wageningen’s central role in the emergence of this field of enquiry and how it continues to contribute to the sustainability science in Wageningen and beyond.

Thursday October 18: Impacts and Future of Weather and Climate Sciences in Wageningen

12.30 Welcome by Simon Bush
12.35: Impacts of Weather and Climate Sciences in Wageningen, Bert Holtslag , Professor of Meteorology
13.25 Break
13.40: Building a climate sustainable house - Experiences by Gerrit Hiemstra (Wageningen Graduate of Meteorology and Ambassador)
14.30 Closing

Weather and Climate sciences in Wageningen has its roots in agriculture and plant sciences. As such Wageningen has one of the longest records of solar radiation (since 1928) because of  the relevance of radiation for plant growth. Today Wageningen weather and climate sciences make a contribution beyond its agricultural origin to urban environmental management and exploration of sustainable energy resources. In the workshop Bert Holtslag will give examples of this work by him and his colleagues at the Meteorology and Air Quality group. In addition, Gerrit Hiemstra (known as one of the Dutch Weatherman and also a Wageningen graduate of Meteorology), will speak about his experiences on building a climate sustainable house