The term bioplastics causes much confusion and will continue to do so, according to my conviction. The public does not seem to grasp the difference between bio as in biobased and bio as in biodegradable. As the plastic soup problem tends to become more important than the non-fossil origin of plastics, bioplastics come under fire
In many discussions on sustainable energy, energy storage is a controversial issue. Particularly non-experts use the lack of simple storage technologies as an unanswerable remark: all nice and well, sustainable energy, but as long as a day without sunshine leaves us in the dark because of lack of simple energy storage, we do not believe
Many social scientists make an appeal to fundamental laws of nature in order to sustain their arguments. Fine, if their interpretation is tenable from a scientific point of view. But often, this is not the case. Economists tend to look upon the earth as a closed system and this gives rise to unnecessary doomsday philosophies.
Green chemistry is threatened both from without and within. In the heydays of classical organic chemistry, in a way many researchers overestimated their powers: they could synthesise anything, even from the drawing board, and better than nature. That overconfidence has silently faded away. In actual practice, the desired properties appeared to be just slightly different,
A decade ago, in an authoritative scientific magazine, we published a prediction (1) on the synthesis of complicated molecules, primarily medicines. We foresaw the integration of chemo and bio catalysis in a reactor that would also be the catalyst. A very efficient system and a dream come true for the pharmaceutical industry: the computer would
So far, the laws of marketing have been insufficiently dealt with in our articles on biotechnologically produced food, and consumer reaction to it. In marketing, all revolves around a very old principle: how do I position my product on the market? Because that determines to a large extent the profit margin that I can make
Public judgement surprises biotechnological researchers again and again. Sometimes it is surprisingly favourable, like in the case of the development of artemisinin, an anti-malarial drug, using modified organisms. Often it is unfavourable, like when public judgement was squarely negative on cloned animals like Herman the bull and Dolly the sheep; and quite recently at the
The problem surfaces everywhere: how to organise successful R&D in a cooperation between research institutes and businesses. Two worlds with very different cultures. Each with their proper rules and their proper criteria for success. Freedom to publish in the world of research versus secrecy until a patent has been awarded in the business world. Whereas