Knowledge for sustainable development

ISOE is one of the leading independent institutes for sustainability research. For more than 30 years, we have been developing scientific bases and future oriented concepts for politics, civil society and the economy – regionally, nationally and internationally.

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Gestaltungsprinzip „Widerstandsfähigkeit stärken“ (© angelika-ullmann.com)

Knowledge communication through images

Principles of shaping for social-ecological transformations vividly illustrated

Social-ecological transformations are necessary for sustainable development. But how can society, science, politics and economy jointly initiate successful transformation processes? Scientists of ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research recently stated that a common perception of shaping is...

Dirty used colored plastic bottle pile ready to be recycled (©sebasnoo/shutterstock)

Results of the PlastX research group

Social-ecological research on plastics in the environment

Plastic is an ambivalent material: On the one hand, due to their versatile properties and their wide range of applications plastics have revolutionized many areas of daily life in the past decades. On the other hand, plastic poses a complex environmental problem due to its production, use and...

Asiatische Buschmücke (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Control of the Asian Bush Mosquito

Using natural agents against potential carriers of disease

More and more exotic mosquitoes are being found in Germany − in addition, pathogens associated with these insects are becoming more common. In the future, therefore, more control agents against the potential disease vectors will be necessary. Experiments by Senckenberg scientists show that essential...

Medicine and glass of water (© peshkova / Adobe Stock)

Pharmaceutical residues in the environment

Ask your doctor or pharmacist

No matter if it’s painkillers, antibiotics, antihypertensives or psychotropic drugs: drug residues usually enter the environment via domestic wastewater. However, many consumers do not even know that they contribute to this environmental problem by taking and incorrectly disposing of drugs. Here,...

Collage of plastic bags (iStock.com/LightFieldStudios)

Laboratory study analyzes the toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Chemicals in bioplastics not safer than those in conventional plastics 

So-called “bioplastics” are marketed as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional, petroleum-based plastics. They can be made from renewable feedstock, might be bio-degradable or even both. The question is however if these biomaterials are safer than conventional plastics with regard...

Crestasee, Schweiz (© Raphael Wild / iStockphoto.com)

New junior research group regulate

Research for sustainable groundwater management in Europe 

Groundwater is the most important drinking water resource worldwide and at the same time a unique habitat for animal organisms. However, the conservation of this valuable resource is neglected both locally and globally. This particularly applies to some hotspot regions in Europe, where groundwater...

 Plastikmüll am Strand von Phu Quoc (Foto: Samantha Dietmar, Fotografisches Atelier unterwegs)

Recommended reading

The garbage in our seas – symbol of the throwaway society

​​​​​​​Seas and oceans have fascinated mankind since time immemorial – as the largest coherent ecosystem in the world and also as a dream destination for recreational purposes. And even though this unique habitat has been used for waste disposal for centuries, the exponential increase of waste in...

Voice assistant concept on smartphone (© bestforbest)

Equality Report of the Federal Government

Digitization and gender equality – (also) a question of technology assessment 

In April 2019, Federal Minister Franziska Giffey appointed the Expert Commission for the Third Equality Report. In this report, the Commission deals with the question of which course of action is necessary to shape developments in the digital economy in such a way that women and men have equal...

Soap bubble (© Svetlana / stock.adobe.com)

Transdisciplinary sustainability research

New understanding of social-ecological transformations

The call for social-ecological transformation has gained in urgency during the corona crisis, but it is in fact not new. The consequences of unabated climate change and species extinction are proving to be so far reaching and consequential that the need for a change of course has long been discussed...

Hydro power plant. River Dam. Energy station. Water power. City infrastructure industrial illustration panorama. White lines on blue background. Vector (© stock.adobe.com / panimoni)

Digitalisation in water management

Cyber security flaws

Digitalisation is now also making itself felt in the water sector. The term ‘WATER 4.0’ alludes to new digital options for a flexible, resource-efficient, and competitive form of water management – intelligent measuring and control systems that can meanwhile replace manual operation. The processes...