Research and society

The Roman Empire as eye-opener and the importance of antiquity

Dame Mary Beard

Is the study of antiquity old-fashioned or outdated? Far from it, says Dame Mary Beard of Cambridge University. She is one of the most famous classics scholars in the world, who has succeeded in popularizing the study of the humanities. And in the meantime, she also enriches debate on topical issues. Ghent University awards an honorary doctorate for her achievements.

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striking

Will we soon have dogs sniffing us out en masse in the fight against coronavirus? It’s possible, as tracker dogs appear to be more accurate in detecting coronavirus than traditional tests. Moreover, it is faster and a lot cheaper. “The first results from our corona dogs are very good,” says Ghent University researcher Chris Callewaert. “They achieve an average accuracy of 95 per cent.”

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striking

If we want to continue enjoying our weekly portion of fish or shellfish in the future, it will be largely thanks to aquaculture. Just call it the fish farm of the future. Ghent University is one of the world’s top researchers on the sustainability and development of aquaculture. “It may sound pretentious, but the 5 million tons of prawns and scampi farmed worldwide all have something to do with Ghent University,” says professor-emeritus of aquaculture Patrick Sorgeloos.

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Art as a ray of hope in Syria

Syrië

The 2011 revolution did not bring about freedom for Syrians. The civil war in the country has already claimed hundreds of thousands of victims. Gradually, despair has set in. “But if you look closely, there are some rays of hope. We need to highlight those in order to not further dehumanize the people who are trapped in the conflict,” says Middle East expert Brigitte Herremans.

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Soon no one will be allowed to keep our data (and that's not good news)

Privacy

The tension between privacy law and criminal law is a ticking time bomb. Under pressure from Europe, the legislative framework related to which communication data companies are allowed to retain about us is threatening to collapse. In other words: without that framework, data retention becomes impossible. A good thing for our privacy, but at the same time “we are heading for an unmitigated disaster”, says Professor Gert Vermeulen, professor of international criminal and privacy law.

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Four ways to counter vaccine skeptics

Vaccin

Ghent University’s Motivation Barometer suggests that two out of ten Belgians are sceptical about the corona vaccines. Philosopher of science and researcher at Ghent University Massimiliano Simons and moral philosopher Brecht Decoene, two specialists in conspiracy thinking and anti-vaxxers, explain how to counter this doubt and opposition.

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