Tapping into God: Why the Sun is Important for the Future

Prof. Sariciftci has been conducting solar energy research for the past 30 years. His goal: To prevent a “Mad Max” scenario.

Left: Professor Serdar Saricftici; photo credit: the Austrian Science Fund
Left: Professor Serdar Sariciftci; Photo credit: the Austrian Science Fund

The sun is considered to be mankind’s oldest deity. The sun not only made life possible in the past, it is also our greatest hope for the future; harnessing its energy could solve countless problems. Serdar Sariciftci is both a physicist and a chemist as well as a recipient of Austria’s most prestigious science award, the Wittgenstein Award. For the past 30 years, he has not only focused on ways in which we can use solar energy more effectively, but he also researches organic solar cells because: "Using fossil fuels releases carbon that had been stored for hundreds of millions of years." The repercussions: our Earth will turn into a desert landscape, "… just like in the Mad Max movies. And whoever possesses a few liters of water becomes the ruler. Is that what we want?"

Prof. Sariciftci’s research aims to prevent this type of scenario. While there are no intentions to worship the sun as a god, he aims to harness its powers so that life on earth will not only continue to exist, but also thrive.

Credit: Der Wissenschaftsfonds FWF