Headline: RIFS Blog December 2021

The blog of the Research Institute for Sustainability (RIFS) contains contributions from employees in all RIFS departments and covers a huge range of themes. In addition to discussing the latest research findings and events, the blog authors comment on political developments.


Covid-19: What's at stake for the unvaccinated?

Hopes were high last Christmas that the pandemic would subside once a vaccine became available. Twelve months later, it’s obvious that this hope was premature. Roughly 20 percent of the German population have declined to be vaccinated. As the pandemic continues to take its toll, Germany is mired in a bitter debate about vaccines, vaccine mandates, and other containment measures.
Exactly why a not inconsiderable minority believes that vaccines pose a greater risk than the disease itself, and therefore refuse to be vaccinated, is puzzling to my colleagues in the field of risk governance and many others besides.

read more

Deforestation-free commodity chains: How an EU legislative proposal reverberates in Brazil

On November 17, the European Commission proposed a regulation on deforestation-free products. This initiative is groundbreaking in that it tackles legal deforestation next to illegal. What does this legislative proposal mean for commodity-producing countries? In the case of Brazil, effective regulations will depend on a combination of trade, financial, technological, and cooperative measures.

read more
IASS session on science and art

Sustainability studies and art – Allies for transforming narratives

A symphony composed by the melting arctic deeply touches an audience of policymakers at COP25. A photograph inspires a political scientist to expand her research on the Amazon with a performance set in a Berlin city forest. And a museum about possible futures doesn’t just have an education team running workshops for its exhibitions but dedicates a whole floor to a lab where scientists and artists can “go nuts” in collaborative projects.

read more