Society and battery technology

In summer time even the Financial Times turns to social topics for passing time. In mid August the concern was for example with the heavy dependence of the electric vehicle market on batteries making use of Cobalt. As this comes mainly form the not so democratic republic of Congo, this is a tricky issue. All social and environment friendly investment enters into a moral dilemma here. More electric cars yes, but not supporting child labour in the extradition of cobalt. Valuable investment does not coincide with investment in social and environmental values here. So what?

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.8b05902  This paper seems to have the technical answer as much as I understood. The monolithic all-phosphate concept presented therin should allow us to bypass cobalt for the batteries in the near future.

A sufficiently strong societal effort to orient or reorient research efforts towards sustainable material science yields promising results. Without the banning of cobalt in batteries technological advancement can achieve technical, economic and social outcomes in line with our “social preferences”.

Digital technology and social movements

As outcome of my teaching on Society and Technology at Jacobs University Bremen jointly with Prof. Thomas Heine and through links to the European Trade Union Research Institute in Brussels the paper on “digital technologies and democratic processes” was realized. The attention within 1 month of publication is not bad for a scientific paper. Positive use of technology to enhance democratic processes in large entities (firms, associations, organizations, institutions, societies) should receive more academic attention. New course on this already in the making … FREE Paper Download here.