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Deep Time

Project Supervisors: Ryan Wittingslow and Mariet Hofstee

Description: Despite being both reasonably clever and good with our hands, human beings are remarkably poor at planning over vast spans of time. Unfortunately, the problem of sequestering nuclear waste is one that requires us to engage in exactly the sort of long term planning that we most overlook. Present-day policymaking tend to be informed by implications in shorter timespans, which leaves a gap in how current-day decisions can be informed about effects and impacts in deep time.  

For example, consider changes in the inhabitability of cities due to post-climate change flooding in cities like Groningen, New York, or Miami, and other places in a 'stand off' with the sea. How to think about the implications for economies, services, and resettlement in inland areas? Or, consider the example of nuclear waste storage, the most important effects of which may not be apparent for thousands of years. One problem for analysts and investigators becomes: How to imagine at least beyond three generations, and perhaps much further into the future, and how to prioritize the various categories of human life that are threatened long after everyone alive today is gone?  

This project will incorporate nuclear physics, semiotics, and cross-cultural communication (and glow-in-the-dark cats), examining both the technical and communicative challenges of social crises that will occur in deep time.

Laatst gewijzigd:26 september 2017 11:54