Think Tank

The ESI Think Tanks will take the form of bi-monthly workshops to explore a particular “concept” with the aim of developing a perspectives paper or defining opportunities to pursue the concept further. These concepts will deliver crosscutting, theoretical syntheses that can bring together the diverse disciplines across the university to tackle big questions in environmental and sustainability science.

For more details on the ESI Think Tank series please contact Mark Plummer, ESI Senior Administrator.

The first ESI Think Tank took place on Friday 24 November, tackling the subject of “The Anatomy of Adaptation”. It was led by Prof Gabriel Yvon-Durocher, with stimulating and diverse talks from Prof Nina WedellProf Angus BucklingDr Tom CurrieDr Tomas Chaigneau and Prof Tim Lenton. The talks inspired discussion groups in the second half of the event to look for common threads between the study of adaptation in biological, social and technological systems.

This Think Tank will take place on Friday 26 January.

The structure of biological systems, from organisms to ecosystems, has emerged through the process of evolution and natural selection to maximise the efficiency of energy transformations. Many societal and economic challenges associated with environmental change also relate to energy acquisition and material and resource use. How do we learn from the properties of biological structures and processes to develop more efficient material cycling systems? How do lessons from the natural world help us design more effective technologies and economies? How do insights from research on natural processes apply in social and cultural contexts?

Speakers Include:

Prof. Juliet Osborne - Introduction
Prof. Stefan Pascucci - Biomimicry and Business
Dr. Markus Mueller & Dr. Saptarshi Das - Computational Systems Inspired by Nature
Prof. Nina Wedell - Nature’s Toolkit
Prof. Tapas Mallick - Biomimicy in Engineering

Short talks will be followed by discussion and a workshop.