By Anja C. Andersen, Professor at Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institutet at University of Copenhagen (KU) – she is also adjunct Professor at The Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at SDU.
Cosmic dust plays a huge role in the appearance of the universe, reprocessing fully half of all non-primordial radiation, fundamentally altering our view of nearly every cosmic phenomenon. Dust is vital to the formation of planets and molecules and plays a fundamental role in nearly all star-formation. Yet its properties and it origin are still poorly understood. We do not understand the properties of dust in extinction or emission, though we are making rapid progress. However, it is not fully explained how large dust masses in the early universe are formed, whether through cool stars, supernovae or the interstellar medium. I will give an overview of how we understand the evolution of the universe and our own existence through the study of cosmic dust. As the first Professor of Science in Denmark I will also address why I believe that research integrity is possibly the most valuable ingredient for credible public engagement.
Read more about Professor Anja C. Andersens background here
She has also made a science cartoon – you can see and read it (in Danish) right here: