Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Comment
  • Published:

The humanities can help make physics greener

Making physics more sustainable raises complex interdisciplinary questions. Answering them needs input from the humanities and social sciences.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Vol. 2 (2021): CERN Environment Report—Rapport sur l’environnement 2019–2020 (CERN, 2021);

  2. Kahanamoku, S. et al. A Native Hawaiian-led summary of the current impact of constructing the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea. Preprint at (2020).

  3. Verma, A. The nuclear, humanities, and social science nexus: challenges and opportunities for speaking across the disciplinary divides. Nucl. Technol. 207, iii–xv (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Given, M. The Archaeology of the Colonized (Routledge, 2004).

  5. Brister, E. & Newhouse, A. E. Not the same old chestnut: Rewilding forests with biotechnology. Environ. Ethics 42, 149–167 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. McElfish, J., Torres-Soto, E. & Beckerman, E. Environmental Justice and Renewable Energy and Storage White Paper (Environmental Law Institute, 2022).

  7. Galison, P. et al. The next generation Event Horizon Telescope collaboration: history, philosophy, and culture. Galaxies 11, 32 (2023).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jaco de Swart.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Swart, J., Thresher, A.C. & Argüelles, C.A. The humanities can help make physics greener. Nat Rev Phys 6, 404–405 (2024).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing