An event on whether our lifestyle can make a difference to sustainability took place last month at the Dalkeith Arts Centre, as part of Midlothian Science Festival.
Heriot Watt University’s assistant professor in rock mechanics and deformation processes Dr Elli-Maria Charalampidou and Bangor University modern history lecturer Dr Nikolaos Papadogiannis led the discussion. Midlothian Provost Peter Smaill opened the event.
The participants at the event were mainly employees of Midlothian Council.
The speakers explained that, while usually linked to environmental issues, sustainability should be also understood in relation to economy, society and culture.
Dr Papadogiannis revealed more about the event.
He said: “The discussion first addressed the elements of sustainability and their connection.
“Subsequently, Dr Charalampidou focused on geoengineering applications involving fluid injection/ withdrawal, geothermal energy extraction and the associated risks. Her talk rested upon her research on deformation processes in rocks and fluid flow and rock system interactions.
“The discussion also included thoughts on how to use the regional geology to cover the energy needs of Midlothian.”
Dr Charalampidou explained what her colleague discussed at the event.
She said: “The third part of the event comprised a talk by Dr Papadogiannis, who drew on his research on the history of travel. He concentrated on the case study of the Airbnb and elaborated on its dangers for social and financial sustainability, especially its potential impact on rising rents.
“He went further to discuss with the audience the ways in which other regions have dealt with the spread of the Airbnb and whether these solutions can be applied to Midlothian.
“The main outcome of the discussion was that there is a need to build an effective cooperation between science and society in these fields.”
The event concluded with an interactive discussion among the presenters and the participants on how sustainability in geo-energy and tourism can be promoted in Midlothian.