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Solar research contributes to fundamental human questions

Luc Rouppe van der Voort, Professor in Solar Physics at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, UiO; one out of ten research communities awarded the status «Norwegian Centre of Excellence» in march 2017.

Luc Rouppe van der Voort

(Luc Rouppe van der Voort)

Why do you work with solar research?

In astronomical context, the Sun is special since it is the only star for which we can
see the surface and its atmosphere in detail and we can learn a lot about other stars and astrophysics by studying the Sun. It is important to understand the Sun since it is our star, and life and conditions on Earth depend so much on the Sun.

What are the societal impacts of your research?

My research is fundamental science and as such it is hard to point at direct impact on society. However, it is safe to say that all technology in our society is based on fundamental science and I think it is important that developed societies continue to invest in fundamental sciences. In wider context, solar physics, as part of astronomy, contributes to answers to fundamental human questions about our place in the universe, where we come from, and our future.

Why are you a member of Forskerforbundet?

The mundane answer is that I became member when I realized that basically the only way to get a salary raise was through membership of the union. But seriously, I highly regard the union's role in protecting the rights of workers and therefore I think it is important to be member of a union. The unions can only do their work in a responsible and representative way if employees actually are members.

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