S4F- Twente Newsletter July 2023

Dear supporter of Scientists4Future-Twente,

Welcome to the July-2023 edition of the S4F-Twente Newsletter. Find some of the latest sustainability-related news from UT. Read about going to Edinburgh by train in our new S4F-Twente Newsletter item of “Personal train-travel stories” for medium-to-long-distance travels. Find interesting suggestions for your holiday reading. We are happy that you are supporting us. Reach out to people that share your concerns: meet us in one of the activities that are described here or forward this Newsletter to others! 

Contents of this newsletter:

  • UT Climate Centre: seed funding
  • UT Climate Centre: Climate Café (22 Sept)
  • UT Sustainability Dialogue
  • Personal train-travel stories: Conference trip by train – from Enschede to Edinburgh and back
  • Faculty for a Future: Seed library
  • Cycling 4 Climate (15 Sept)
  • Fireside chats (online)
  • S4F-Twente lunch meetings
  • A book worth reading (1/2): “The Ministry for the Future”, by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • A book worth reading (2/2): “The Nutmeg’s Curse”, by Amitav Ghosh
  • Green Hub Twente “Green talks”
  • Calendar

UT Climate Centre: seed funding

On 4 July, the UT Climate Centre awarded nine climate-related research- and education projects a total of €190.000 in seed funding. The projects vary from developing a smart water management system for a farm in Enschede to exploring the possibility of a pilot for a low-cost geothermal well on campus to combat climate misinformation through the use of virtual reality.

UT Climate Centre: Climate Café (22 Sept)

The UT Climate Centre will host its third Climate Café on Friday, 22 September 2023, from 15:30-17:30. A more detailed program and the exact location will follow. Please register via the UT website.

UT Sustainability Dialogue

The UT website provides a concluding summary of UT Sustainability Dialogues. Notes from the Executive Breakfast on 27 June (see picture below), with input from the Executive Board, are also available. Several ideas that emerged from the sessions will be implemented in the coming period:

  1. Increase the visibility of successful sustainable initiatives, both in education and research and organizational development.
  2. Ensure that all study programs will pay substantial attention to climate change-related issues in the curriculum in a way that fits the study program.
  3. Increase transparency of our sustainability efforts.
  4. Review our collaborations with the fossil industry critically.

More detailed info can be found on the UT website. Notes from previous Sustainability Dialogue sessions are also available online.

Personal train-travel stories: Conference trip by train – from Enschede to Edinburgh and back

In late June, my colleague Igor Siretanu and I traveled to a conference in Scotland by train. The trip started with a pleasant surprise: it is possible to reach Edinburgh by train within 13h. Starting early in the morning brings you there safely in the evening – and the same on the way back. This can be easily found on the app of the German Deutsche Bahn. Even if you travel through four different countries, excluding Germany, this app was the easiest way to find the connection. Booking the trip, though, was not possible through the app. This required quite some emails back and forth with our travel agent – and led to a handful of separate tickets in each direction.

(You better check these carefully. I noticed the day before I left that one section with the Eurostar was forgotten on the way back. Luckily, this could be fixed quickly.)

Other than that, it was an amazingly relaxed trip. We did not miss a single connection despite twelve changes of train throughout the two trips. The downside was, of course, that we had to spend two extra days. The meeting started at lunch on a Wednesday and ended at lunch on a Friday. Great for air travelers who can fly in and out on the first and the last day – but for train travelers, different planning would have saved a day. The second downside is, of course, the costs: more than 700EUR for the trip plus two extra hotel nights, compared to a little more than 300EUR that another Dutch colleague paid for his flight. Anyway, in the fall, there is a conference in Naples. This time, no chance of getting there within a day. But Interrail promises much cheaper tickets.

To be continued,

-> See also yesterday’s article in the Guardian: “Flying in Europe up to 30 times cheaper than train, says Greenpeace”.

Faculty for a Future: Seed Library

“Faculty for a Future’s Seed Library is a searchable database of open-access educational resources that can support educators and students in their aims of transitioning to a transformative education by integrating sustainability into discipline-specific teaching and learning, whether by reviewing existing courses/modules or creating new ones; facilitating understanding of transdisciplinary issues crucial to our future; or adopting innovative pedagogical techniques that empower students as active participants in their education.”

Faculty for a Future works to champion academic practices that embrace and embody the crucial need for societal transformation. Faculty for a Future’s focus into 2024 is on how to address the deeper systemic flaws in academia that make it harder for education to be fit for purpose – transdisciplinary, empowering, and emotionally aware. But first, they ask: what can we all do right now to get more students the education they deserve without asking anyone for permission?

The Seed Library database allows you to select your discipline, choose the transdisciplinary issues relevant to your courses, and the type of materials you’re interested in.

Cycling4Climate (15 Sept)

Cycling4Climate, Scientists4Future-Twente, and the UT organize a sporting challenge with sustainable impact. On Friday, 15 September, we will be the setting for the Cycling4Climate Overijssel province tour. There are two routes: one for recreational cyclists of about 50 kilometers and one for road bikes of about 90 kilometers. Everyone is welcome to join; there is room for 50 participants per tour.

The province tour is an inspiring ride in Twente, where you visit locations where sustainability is brought into practice. Lunch is included, with all cyclists coming together at a social company. Along the way, you can share your sustainability-related work and experiences with your fellow cyclists and thus expand your network. You can find more info at the UT website; please register via the Cycling4Climate website, where you will also find more detailed information!

Fireside chats (online) 

About once a month, we organize a fireside chat, an informal online meeting of supporters of S4F-Twente. These chats have been suspended until September; the next S4F-Twente Newsletter will contain an update. 

S4F-Twente lunch meetings 

Every first Monday and third Friday of the month at 12:30, anyone interested in S4F, staff or student, is welcome to join us in the Waaier canteen. This is an informal meeting where you can exchange ideas and concerns and meet like-minded people. The lunch meetings on 21 July and in August are canceled. The next one is on Monday, 4 September.

During recent meetings, we discussed the UT Sustainability Dialogues, how S4F-Twente can be more visible and better connected to the UT community, and what you can do with plat roofs with the rising temperature.

Feel free to join us during one of the next informal lunch meetings (see the Calendar below for dates). 

A book worth reading (1/2):

“The Ministry for the Future”, by Kim Stanley Robinson

“The Ministry for the Future” is a thought-provoking “climate-fiction” novel by American science-fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, published in 2020. The book follows an international organization named the Ministry for the Future in its mission to act as an advocate for the world’s future generations of citizens as if their rights were as valid as the present generation’s.

According to The Guardian, “An international task force tackles global heating in this chilling yet hopeful vision of how the next few decades might unfold. (…) Kim Stanley Robinson, who wrote the classic Red Mars trilogy of novels about geoengineering the red planet to be habitable by humans, now offers a story about whether we can geoengineer Earth back into Earth.” The first chapter is available online. Or watch Nate Hagens’ podcast with the author.

A book worth reading (2/2): “The Nutmeg’s Curse”, by Amitav Ghosh

The Indian author of fiction and non-fiction, Amitav Ghosh published “The Nutmeg’s Curse” in 2021. A Dutch translation, entitled “De vloek van de nootmuskaat”, was released earlier this year.

The high trade value of nutmeg and mace motivated Dutch troops in the 17th Century to conquer the Banda islands by extreme force. The story acts as a parable of how humans have been pillaging the world for natural resources and seeking answers for a better future. A wonderfully written and inspiring book that reflects on today’s neocolonialism and our lost connection to Nature. 

Green Hub Twente “Green talks”

The “Green Talks” podcast series to voice the opinions of UT researchers has a new episode:

The earlier episodes can also still be watched via the same link.


Date, timeEventLocation
Monday 4 September 2023, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente lunch meeting (see item in this newsletter)Waaier canteen
Friday 15 September 2023, 10:00-17:00Cycling4Climate (see item in this newsletter; do register)UT, square in front of building Box (nr. 53), next to sports centre
Friday 15 September 2023, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente lunch meeting (see item in this newsletter)Waaier canteen
Tuesday 26 September 2023, 19:30-21:00Right of way for bicycles! (in Dutch). A debate on the tension between bicycles and cars in public spaces.Vrijhof, Amfitheater
Friday 22 September 2023, 15:30-17:30Climate Café (see item in this newsletter)T.b.a. Please register via UT website.
Monday 2 October 2023, 12:30-13:30S4F-Twente lunch meeting (see item in this newsletter)Waaier canteen
Thursday 12 October 2023, 20:00-22:00Studium Generale: A new Milkyway: from cow to soybean (in Dutch). About the transition from animal to plant protein production.Enschede – Oude Markt – Concordia

Interesting links 

We wish you all a nice summer break and hope to see you soon afterwards, through one of the above opportunities! 

The S4F-Twente newsletter team – Leonie Krab, Yuri Engelhardt, Corjan van der Kuil, Brechje Maréchal, Daniel Monteiro Cunha, Frieder Mugele, Jurriaan Schmitz, Alexey Voinov –  

Scientists4Future–Twente – Coalition of concerned scientists 

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