Public Lectures on Energy and Photosynthesis at UP, 3rd-5th October 2017

Public lectures on Energy adn Photosynthesis will take place at the University of Pretoria from the 3rd of October to the 5th of October.

The present global energy demand is predicted to increase twofold by 2050 as the result of population and economic growth. Africa’s energy demand will probably be the highest of all continents. The challenge in fulfilling in a sustainable way our high demand for energy is not one of an inherent lack of available energy. In fact, the amount of solar energy reaching the earth’s surface in one hour is more than mankind’s energy demand for an entire year. The solution is already found in nature: photosynthesis is the only process that converts solar energy into chemical energy on a massive scale. We have reached a stage in mankind’s history where scientists know the intricate details of the photosynthetic process sufficiently well to use the underlying design principles as inspiration for solar energy technologies.
In this public lecture series, leading scientists from the Netherlands, Germany and France will reveal the secrets of natural and artificial photosynthesis. Specifically, the remarkable design aspects of energy transfer and charge separation in photosynthetic organisms will be described up to the minutest length and time scales, it will be shown how the photosynthetic process is engineered to give rise to a stable form of energy despite the fact that the overall process seems to defy the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and finally, the way in which we can redesign photosynthesis to meet mankind’s enormous energy demands will be detailed. Please find the program of the lectures below and more information here:

  • 3rd of October : Energy Transfer and Charge Separation in Photosynthesis
    Speaker: Prof. Rienk van Grondelle (Department of Biophysics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 4th of October: Photosynthesis as an example of a driven process that leads to systems of lower entropy
    Speaker: Prof Emil Roduner (Dept. Chemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • 5th of October : Artificial Photosynthesis: Energy of the Future
    Speaker: Prof Bruno Robert (Institute of Biology Technologies, CEA-Saclay, France)

Please note that due to access control at campus, RSVP to rsvp(at) is essential if you are not UP staff or a student.

publie le 03/10/2017

top of the page