Sociale Wetenschappen

Climate Walk

7 & 8 December 2022

On December 7 and 8, the Climate Walk will visit Antwerp. Two teams of scientists and activists, Wanderers of Changing Worlds, are walking through 17 European countries, investigating how climate change is experienced across Europe, speaking about climate change at schools and universities, and organizing workshops. The Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences joined forces to organize, together with the Climate Walk team visiting Antwerp, two activities on climate change, open to staff and students.

Walk through the City Center - 7/12/2022
On Wednesday, December 7, we will do a walk through the city center. Together with the Wanderers we will visit a number of places, each time with a researcher or employee of the UAntwerpen elaborating on a specific aspect of climate change. We start at Hof van Liere at 1 p.m., and arrive at Agora around 4 p.m., where a closing drink will take place. During the itinerary, we will get explanations about soil sensors, the Sigmaplan, climate and migration at the Red Star museum, and hydrogen-powered boats, among other things. Participation is free, registration is required, preferably by December 1, using this link.

Workshop Global challenges and local responses to climate change - 8/12/2022
On Thursday, December 8, we will host a workshop at Campus Drie Eiken, aula D.S.001. First, the Wanderers will introduce the Climate Walk. Then five staff members will present different initiatives at UAntwerp around climate change, in the areas of policy, education and research. We start in room D.S.001 at 10.30, at the end at 1 p.m. there will be a sandwich lunch. The workshop ties in with a lecture on climate migration by Lore Van Praag, within the climate change course. Those interested are also welcome to attend this class, from 8:30 to 10:30 in D.S.001. You can register for the workshop online, before 01/12/2022. 

Global challenges and local responses to climate change

Programme Workshop Thursday December 8, 2022, D.S.001

10:30– 11:05  Merlin Hochmeier & Eva-Maria Holzinger (Climate Wanderers): Introduction to the Climate Walk

The Climate Walk is a combined research, education and media-art project by the Wanderers of Changing Worlds. It is about walking across Europe to understand regional experiences of climate change. It is about listening to local perspectives, learning from them, and connecting these stories together to construct a holistic, people-centric understanding of these complex phenomena.

11:05 – 11:25  Matthias Verstraeten (Climate Coordinator; IMDO): Toward a fossil-free university

Brief introduction of the functioning, goals, reached milestones and future actions of the Climate Team of the University of Antwerp. This is a decentrally organised group of students, researchers, professors and administrative staff who work in thematic working groups to devise solutions and take actions to reduce the university's carbon footprint.

11:25 – 11:45  Arne Ven (PLECO, Dept Biology): A talk about science education, and how Klimaatlink deals with it

Students and teachers are paying more and more attention to climate change. However, teachers are not always sufficiently prepared to deal with this complicated matter. Climate change is happening fast, is complex, and there are many misunderstandings about it. Klimaatlink was established to realize a permanent link between climate education and climate science. In collaboration with secondary school teachers, we developed four different educational packages on climate change. Two packages deal with the basic science of climate change, and possible solutions to the climate problem. The other two packages are more practical: with hands-on science-education packages, students learn to set up a small science project themselves.

11:45 – 12:00  Coffee break

12:00 – 12:20  Florence Van Durme (Government & Law, Fac Law): Public participation and access to justice for social movements pursuing environmental protection and environmental justice 

The build-up of multiple social and ecological crises are creating havoc in our society, in particular affecting the most vulnerable. This presentation sketches how social movements relate to law in their endeavour to protect the environment and the most vulnerable in society. It zooms in on opportunities and obstacles in the context of public participation and access to justice, including the problem of funding court cases.

The accumulation of multiple social and ecological crises is creating havoc in our society, in particular affecting the most vulnerable. How do we go about transitioning to a more (climate) resilient society? Starting out from the perspective of democratic rights and public participation, this presentation sketches some pathways that citizens and civil society can take to determine the direction and the elaboration of this transition.

12:20 – 12:40  Jonas Lembrechts (PLECO, Dept Biology): Measuring extreme weather at your doorstep

Heatwaves, droughts, and extreme precipitation ... With 'CurieuzeNeuzen in de Tuin' (CuriousNoses in the Garden) the University of Antwerp reveals the impact of extreme weather as close to home as possible: in your own backyard. This ambitious citizen science project asked thousands of citizens, schools and local governments to measure local heat and moisture conditions in their own lawn and uses this unprecedented dataset and network to formulate concrete suggestions on how we can improve the climate resilience of our own gardens.

12:40 – 13:00  Quinten Van Avondt (BlueApp): BlueApp, where academia and industry develop climate change solutions together

BlueApp is UAntwerp’s open innovation hub for sustainable chemistry and materials. Focusing on multidisciplinary collaboration to bridge the gap between research and actual innovation, and linking the business community to researchers are its key differentiating elements. BlueApp is a building equipped with labs for those disciplines involved in sustainable (bio)chemical processes for the production, treatment, or analysis of (bio)materials, gases and liquids. Think about CCUS, hydrogen, air and water purification etc. On the one hand, the focus is on applied research in cooperation with industrial partners and, on the other hand, on the development of products and processes which result in a license or investment agreement.