The Power of the Sun: Solar Imaginations

How was the Sun conceived and visualized throughout the centuries? And what challenges featuring the Source of Life will we face in the near future? The Power of the Sun brings together literary scholars, astronomers, designers and climate scientists to illuminate our cultural histories and imagine new solar futures. Due to the current climate crisis, diverging conceptions of Sun and its relation to our existence have come into being. What is the future of our dealings with the Sun, and, taking into account climate catastrophe and increasing inequality, what kind of transitions are needed to create a more democratic use of solar power? How do we retain our place under the Sun?

This event is onsite only.

Since the beginning of human history, the Sun has been central in making sense of our existence. As the source of life, the Sun has been worshipped, mystified, harvested, and feared. With the Copernican Revolution, we have realized that the earth–and consequently, humanity–is in fact not at the centre of the universe. Indeed, the Sun has eclipsed the earth. But that has not always been the case. How was the Sun conceived and visualized throughout the centuries? And what do these imaginations of the ‘immense lemon yellow disc’, as Vincent van Gogh described the Sun, tell us about our place under it?

About the speakers

Sophie Battell is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Zurich and NIAS Fellow from February-June 2023. She researches early modern literature and culture. As a NIAS Fellow, she is working on her second book, Sun Cultures in Early Modern England.

Marjan van Aubel is an award-winning innovative solar designer who’s studio Marjan van Aubel Studio brings solar energy into daily life. Designing for a positive future through combining the fields of sustainability, design and technology. She is co-organiser of the Solar Biennale and author of Solar Futures (2022).

Misha Velthuis is a lecturer at the Amsterdam University College. His interests range from Earth/Environmental Sciences and statistics/modelling to the field of Science and Technologies and its focus on the politics of knowledge.

Lex Kaper is full professor Observational Astrophysics and Instrument Development at the University of Amsterdam and adjunct professor Education in Astronomy at the VU Amsterdam. His research group works on the formation, evolution and fate of massive stars.

Zará Kars (moderator) is a Public Historian and Programme Manager Arts & Science at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS).

Gerelateerde programma’s
01 02 24
Het pand der goden. De eerste Surinaamse opera

Het pand der goden uit 1906 is een muziekdramatisch werk van de Surinaamse componist Johannes Nicolaas Helstone dat in de vergetelheid raakte. Nu gaat het Concertgebouworkest het stuk 15 februari 2024 voor het eerst sinds 1906 weer opvoeren. Hoe is het mogelijk dat de eerste grote opera uit Suriname zo lang ongelezen en ongehoord in de archieven is blijven liggen? En wat vertelt het verhaal over de Surinaamse muziekcultuur van de late negentiende en vroege twintigste eeuw?

Donderdag 1 feb 2024 17:00 uur
19 09 23
Platform Perspectives
Navigating the Sharing Economy and Its Transformative Impact

Have you ever shared your house, your car, your household items or borrowed a dress via a sharing platform? Or are you curious, but still a bit weary to try it?

Dinsdag 19 sep 2023 17:30 uur
11 07 23
‘Strategic foresight’ building ‘strategic preparedness’ for a rapidly evolving world
Navigating the Future

In a rapidly evolving world driven by innovation, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future advancements is crucial. ‘Technological foresight’ has become paramount for policymakers as they navigate the path ahead, serving as a compass to evaluate the potential societal impacts of complex scientific and technological developments. It also aids decision-makers in gaining a more strategic understanding of the issues they must address.

Dinsdag 11 jul 2023 17:00 uur