Annual Review Article 2020
By Flemming Besenbacher | As a society, we must at all times listen to the skilled researchers and scientists, and we must ensure that the health and economic modelling and political decision-making have an enlightened and scientific basis and are not just born of gut instinct. It is vital that science is allowed to play the socially beneficial and independent role for which it has the potential, and in this the Carlsberg Foundation has its own important role to play.
By Michael Rask Madsen | The immediate setback to international cooperation in connection with the current coronavirus pandemic has already led to linear projections of imminent deglobalisation. Yet, global crises have historically been the pivot for building up international institutions and international law. As a rule of thumb, and through complicated historical learning processes, crises and serious setbacks lead to international institutionalisation of common regulations and law.
By Thomas Kiørboe | The seas’ ecosystems affect the earth’s carbon budget and thus the global climate, and are themselves affected by the climate. Professor Thomas Kiørboe, who was awarded the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize 2019, asks whether it is possible to produce usable forecasts of this complicated interaction using simple models.
By Ali Salanti & Jørgen Kjems | The world has been hit by a new disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads from person to person via droplets and can thus be transmitted both through the air and through direct physical contact with infected secretions. The global economic and healthcare systems are under huge strain, and the crisis is threatening the social interactions of billions of people.
by Michael Bang Petersen | Virus infects from person to person and, accordingly, people’s behaviour are a key to understanding how an epidemic unfolds. If people practise social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene, the epidemic is kept at bay. We have heard that time and again during the corona epidemic. So if that is right, can we use indicators of people’s behaviour to predict where and on whom the infection pressure will fall and increase during an epidemic? This is the focus of Michael Bang Petersen’s Semper Ardens project “HOPE – How Democracies Cope with Covid19: A Data-Driven Approach”.
By Lone Simonsen | How deadly is the COVID-19 pandemic? What is the theoretical effect of ”super spreader events” on transmission and control? What is the consequence of different control strategies from an epidemic perspective? How will the COVID-19 pandemic end? What is the post-pandemic dynamic after herd immunity? Have we seen a coronavirus pandemic before? Professor Lone Simonsen focuses on these issues and many more in the Semper Ardens project ”Pandemic X”.
By Eske Willerslev | A research team led by Professor Eske Willerslev, in collaboration with researchers from the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, Cambridge University in the UK, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Beijing Genomics Institute, is mapping the genetic material of ancient domesticated rice varieties and wild rice to uncover the genetic basis of rice resilience to diseases and environmental changes. This knowledge is important to addressing the challenges around food security in a changing world.
By Rubina Raja | Since 2012, the Palmyra Portrait Project has collected and studied approximately 4,000 funerary portraits from the ancient city of Palmyra in modern-day Syria. This is the world’s largest group of antique funerary portraits stemming from one site and a unique archaeological and arthistorical group of material. The devastation caused by the civil war in Syria underlines the importance of such basic research projects more than ever.
By Tom Gilbert | Our relationship to the pathogens whose epidemics has been shaping human society has changed through time. Professor Tom Gilbert and his research colleagues are studying the role of human genetic variation in the process, using the second plague pandemic as their model.
By Rebecca Adler-Nissen | Misinformation is not just a security issue but influences debates on health, climate, energy and culture. The “Digital Disinformation” research project studies the reach and effects of misinformation, contributing to our understanding of a politically sensitive phenomenon.
By Lasse Horne Kjældgaard | The Aesthetics of Welfare seeks to understand the Nordic model as an aesthetic laboratory and develop a theory of “the aesthetics of welfare”.
By Sune Olander Rasmussen | The ice age climate in the North Atlantic area was characterised by repeated abrupt climate changes. Although we will most likely not experience equivalent climate changes in the current interglacial period, it is important to understand the underlying physical mechanisms that may again come into play in our future climate.
By Christoffer Bugge Harder | The project involves growing trials with trees and Mycena fungi to attempt to determine the genetic reasons why fungi become either parasites/”blind passengers” on plants or their beneficial partners.
By Kristin Veel | How do we communicate with chatbots? How do we talk about our robot vacuum cleaners? And how can art-historical style studies inform our understanding of artificial intelligence? These are questions being addressed by the Uncertain Archives research group, headed by Associate Professor Kristin Veel.
By Claes Gjermansen, Jochen Förster & Birgitte Skadhauge | In 1875, J.C. Jacobsen set up the highly visionary Carlsberg Laboratory (now the Carlsberg Research Laboratory), which became a department of the Carlsberg Foundation following the latter’s establishment in 1876. Today, 144 years later, Carlsberg is clearly distinguished from other major global brewery groups by its dedication to beer research and innovation. The Carlsberg Research Laboratory is unique because its research areas cover the entire beer brewing process, from brewery technologies, product quality, sustainability, raw materials and ingredients to yeast and alternative brewing organisms.
By Mette Skougaard og Thomas Lyngby | In a world where mutual dependence and integration have become increasingly visible in recent decades, the Museum has endeavoured, in its exhibitions and research, to examine Denmark’s historical interactions with other parts of the world. To this end, the Museum has partnered with foreign museums to arrange exhibitions staged both at Frederiksborg and abroad and initiated international research projects.
By Peter Giacomello | The Tuborg Foundation’s strategic focus on young people helps to ensure that the next generations have more opportunities to come together to contribute to the future with new knowledge, engagement and a desire to create change. In a world facing big challenges, new perspectives are vital to our society and particularly to industry, which the Tuborg Foundation supports by boosting opportunities for young people.
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The Carlsberg family comprises a global brewing group, three grant-awarding foundations, two internationally acclaimed museums and a ground-breaking international research laboratory. The Carlsberg Foundation is the parent foundation for the Carlsberg family.