Publiekslezing: 'Plastic Pollution'

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Plastic is overal in onze omgeving te vinden, variërend van grote stukken macroplastics tot kleinere deeltjes, zoals nano- (<100 nm) en microplastics (> 100 nm en <5 mm). Dit heeft geleid tot grote maatschappelijke zorgen en voortdurende media-aandacht. Maar wat zijn de werkelijke risico's van kunststoffen in het milieu? Moet er echt zoveel nadruk worden gelegd op plasticvervuiling, of leidt dit af van andere, meer dringende milieuproblemen? Thijs Bosker bespreekt in zijn Engelstalige lezing hoe milieuwetenschappers het risico van plasticvervuiling beoordelen, met een focus op microplastics.

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave and the Lorentz Center together organize the public lecture ‘Plastic Pollution: Is microplastic pollution really a major risk to the environment?’ by Thijs Bosker on Tuesday 28 January 2020. The lecture starts at 18.00 at Rijksmuseum Boerhaave.

Plastic is found everywhere in our environment, ranging from large pieces of macroplastics to smaller particles, such as nano- (<100 nm) and microplastics (>100 nm and <5 mm). This has caused significant societal concerns, and ongoing media attention. But what are the actual risks of plastics in the environment? Should there really be this much emphasis on plastic pollution, or is it distracting from other, more pressing environmental issues?

During this lecture Thijs Bosker will discuss how environmental scientists assess the risk of plastic pollution, with a focus on microplastics. He will use examples from his own research  (which includes a citizen science project) to illustrate how the distribution of plastic, and the uptake and effects on organisms (from whales to water fleas) are determined, and what we currently now about the risks of microplastics.

Based on this information, Bosker will position the risk on plastic pollution in relation to other key environmental threats, and highlight why environmental issues are so difficult to tackle. Finally, he will open up the floor for a discussion with the audience on this issue.

Thijs Bosker is an Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences at Leiden University. In his research he uses laboratory and field techniques to study the impact of contaminants on the health of ecosystems, with a focus on stress-on-stress scenarios under estuarine conditions. He conducts his research in Canada, the US, the Caribbean and the Netherlands.

Lorentz Center

Collaboration Lorentz Center and Rijksmuseum Boerhaave

Rijksmuseum Boerhaave and the Lorentz Center together organize public events in which internationally respected experts address a wide audience on topics of societal and/or scientific importance.

This public lecture is part of the workshop Science Based Rules on Plastic: Regulating Plastic Pollution, which will take place at the Lorentz Center from 27 – 31 January 2020.

Practical information

Lecture: Is microplastic pollution really a major risk to the environment?
Language: English
Date: Tuesday 28 January 2020, 18.00-19.00
Venue: Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, Lange Sint Agnietenstraat 10, Leiden
Entrance: Special Guest Card, entrance ticket, friend of the museum


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