Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Breaking silos, nudging communities: The SITE4Society adventure
UNU-MERIT's Site4Society (S4S) aims to foster home-grown social innovation. It starts from the premise that knowledge need not be cold or aloof, but can in fact serve various social challenges. In the case of S4S, we address the clear lack of networks between academics from different disciplines and between social scientists and the rest of the world ? on the SDGs in particular. So the main aim is to break open silos and start unconventional conversations through interactive workshops.

For our second S4S event held last week we hosted speakers from across the local innovation system, including Brightlands (an institution supported by the Limburg government to nurture start-ups), (getting to be a start-up), DSM corporate sustainability division (a Dutch multinational present in 50 countries), GoodGood (a social enterprise), LOCOtuinen (a cooperative), Bandito Espresso (a social enterprise) and Maastricht University (an academic institution!). Find out more about this initiative by clicking the link below.

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  • World's tiniest 3D glasses reveal how praying mantises see the world
    Praying mantises are the only invertebrates known to see in 3D. The predatory insects excel at detecting prey that comes within striking distance, but-unlike us-their depth perception only works when the prey is moving. How do we know this?

    In a new study, scientists from the University of Newcastle in Britain glued the world's tiniest 3D glasses on 20 praying mantises and showed them a series of movies depicting patches of moving dots, potential 'prey items', camouflaged against a matching background. The insects tried to catch 'prey' that appeared to be within 2.5 centimetres of their perch. And they could still do it even when the 'prey' item, or dot configuration, looked completely different to the two eyes, something that people found challenging when they were asked to perform the same task.

    Humans see in 3D by stitching together the actual image coming in from one eye versus the other, but this work shows that praying mantises only bother stitching together the motion, the actual image doesn't matter to them. It is the first time this kind of 3D vision has been found in nature, and it is yet another example of evolution coming up with different solutions to the same problem, in this case, when to strike at a passing fly.

    Science Magazine / Current Biology    February 08, 2018