It is interesting to reflect on the idea that technical know-how and people’s living conditions develop at different speeds. The two are certainly connected, but sometimes it doesn’t take much technical advancement to significantly raise living standards. In Ethiopia, an award-winning project teaches small-scale farmers the benefits of ecological agriculture with soil improvement by means of composting.
In more developed parts of the world, technical progress is creating new benefits. Products based on nanotechnology are finding their way into everyday life. Stop-start technology for cars and two-wheelers is decreasing unnecessary emissions of carbon dioxide, thus improving the environment in congested cities.
Looking to the future, researchers are just beginning to study the two-dimensional material graphene, something that may greatly improve the processing power of computers. Other researchers are looking into the possibility of converting carbon dioxide into methane or methanol, and potentially kerosene or diesel – turning pollution into fuel.
In the barren and freezing landscape of the South Pole, scientists at an enormous microwave telescope are studying the expansion of the universe and dark energy. Data on distant galaxy clusters are being gathered to determine the conditions of the universe, adding to our knowledge about a very distant future.
Enjoy your reading!
Madeleine de Laval
Editor in chief