Alle berichten van Science Cafe Wageningen

The Journey to Mars

Thursday June 1st

19:45 live music by Sun Inside
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

The stars in our night’s sky have always intrigued us, but none has captured our imagination as much as the ‘wandering star’ we call Mars. Its red color – coming from oxidized iron – already inspired the Babylonians to name it Nergal, after their god of fire and destruction. Now we know that, instead of fire, Mars harbors liquid water. This, together with its “mild” temperature and comparable gravity, makes the planet to the most hospitable planet for humans in our solar system, after Earth. Nevertheless, Mars is on average 140 million km away from Earth making the journey of approximately six months extremely challenging in terms of technological, but also societal aspects. In our next Science café, we are therefore excited to host Arno Wielders from Mars One and Agata Kołodziejczyk from ESA and Wieger Wamelink from Wageningen University & Research, who will talk about the most intriguing questions concerning the journey to, but also living on the planet of fire and destruction.

Arno Wielders is the co-founder and chief technical officer of Mars One. Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars within the next fifteen years.

Agata Kołodziejczyk holds a PhD in neuroscience from Stockholm University and is currently a research fellow at the Advanced Concepts Team of ESTEC.

Wieger Wamelink is a (senior) researcher at Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), where his research focusses on the possibility to grow food crops on Mars by using soil simulants. The results of his research have seen extensive media coverage. Furthermore, he is part of the Mars One advisory board.

PREVIOUS SESSION: The evolution and neurobiology of altruistic behaviour and conflict resolution

Thursday May 11th

19:45 live music by Troubagroove
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

Altruistic or pro-social behaviour has long been a topic of study, due to the apparent individual disadvantages that it could have within the “survival of the fittest” paradigm. Yet, not only humans display such behaviour regularly: so do non-human primates. In the quest for the biological underpinnings of cooperative behaviour and the opposite tendency towards conflict, we asked Prof. Elisabeth Sterck from Utrecht University and prof. Alan Sanfey from the Donders Institute in Nijmegen to share with us the findings of their research. Prof. Sterck will tell us about the evolution of conflict resolution mechanisms and altruistic behaviour, with focus on non-human primates as well as human children. Prof. Sanfey will look at the psychosocial motivations driving such apparently disadvantageous behaviours, illustrating with brain images how these different motivations are represented neurally.

Join us at the next Science Café on May 11th to find out all you ever wanted to know about the biology of pro-social behaviour and the mechanisms fostering conflict resolution.