June 19th 2012
How showering and listening lead to scientific discoveries
In a special edition of Science Café Wageningen, Marten Scheffer teaches us how to muse. How do you actually get to a scientific insight? Not by staring at your computer screen, but by walking, cycling, lighting a fire, showering, listening to music or talking with other researchers. That is the firm conviction of Spinozist Marten Scheffer.
Scheffer knows exactly how associations are established. He organizes informal meetings with economists, sociologists and brain scientist in his backyard. One of those meetings resulted in a Nature-article about the warning signs that precede a change in ecosystems, climate change or financial markets.
Marten Scheffer is one of Wageningens greatests and most inspiring scientists. He is Professor of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality at Wageningen University and a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he received the Spinoza Prize for his understandings of critical transitions in complex systems. With his models, he can predict when a clear lake gets turbid or a migraine attack will continue.