The challenges that society faces are both global and complex. To name a few examples; the prospect of doubling the current world population by 2050 and an envisaged reduction of arable land our food-systems will need to be improved to be able to feed the world in future. The increasing average age of humans brings new health risks that need to be detected, acknowledged and mitigated in order to maintain an acceptable quality of life for future generations. With a luring exhaustion of fossil fuels within a few generations time, there is a strong need to investigate alternative sources of energy to find the supply to the growing demands of modern society. Another challenge is how do we address the preservation of the cultural heritage, that made human beings to what they are today and will determine part of their future evolution.
If solutions to these challenges are to be found, investment in excellent interdisciplinary research is key. Research Infrastructures have been playing a central role in fostering excellent multi-disciplinary research, with examples like CERN, EMBL, ESRF and ESO. This trend is rapidly expanding into all fields of science.
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