On Friday, October 9, Central European University presented an English language edition of the Borderless Knowledge series, "COVID Under the Microscope," part of Austria's digital Lange Nacht Der Forschung (Long Night of Research). The bi-annual event invites the public to a behind-the-scenes snapshot of current research taking place in Austria's universities and research institutes. During this roundtable discussion - moderated by Andrew Solomon, former head of natural history & history at ORF and editor of UNIVERSUM - an international panel of experts illuminates what the pandemic has initiated from environmental, economic and historical perspectives.
Opening the discussion, Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, CEU Professor and Director of the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy, examined the acceleration of pandemics in the Anthropocene, the necessary economic transitions to navigate this opportunity to rebalance with nature, and how the disruption of the pandemic allows for major behavioral changes and experiments toward sustainable lifestyle practices.
Luis Gómez-Echeverri, Senior Research Scholar at IIASA, contributed insight regarding the reform and coordination of governance, risk and resilience. He outlined how urban transformation and design can change consumption patterns to be more driven by efficiency and need.
From an economic angle, CEU Visiting Professor Dora Piroska shared a regional snapshot of the diversity in emergency economic policy making. By examining variation in potential scopes of action across labor market measures and social provisions, she noted how the European Union's measures have affected the Western and Eastern European countries differently.
Finally, adding an intercontinental perspective, Matthias Thiemann from Sciences Po shared inquiries driven by the contradictions created by stagnant invested capital, whose priorities inhibit shifts to more sustainable economies.
Watch the video of the full discussion, "Covid Under the Microscope" here:
CEU's Borderless Knowledge series features CEU professors, leading Hungarian experts and well-known public figures discussing recent scientific findings and their direct impact on contemporary life. Previous talks from the series have covered topics of the pandemic's preventability, imminent financial crisis, archeological mysteries, global warming, networks and research on childhood cognitive development.
The Lange Nacht Der Forschung (Long Night of Research) festival for science and research takes place in Austria every two years. The festival aims to present accessible, research-driven innovative findings and groundbreaking technologies to a wide audience throughout Austria. The 2020 Lange Nacht Der Forschung was presented in a digital format for the first time with some 200 contributions from all nine federal states. The entire program is available for viewing through to December 30, 2020.