Horizons 118 (September 2018): Wild West beneath our feet - new resources are up for grabs

This picture shows the cover of Horizons' September 2018 issue.

A lot of knowledge is to be gained underground - and sometimes this knowledge makes headlines. For example when researchers measure the concentration of cocaine in city sewers. Conflicts are also looming beneath our feet as more and more parties in the energy sector and in the tunnelling industry go underground.

For the current issue of Horizons we went to great depths to uncover what researchers get up to underground. In an interview with André Ourednik, geographer and science fiction author, we cast a light on the significance of caves and tunnels for Swiss identity, and geologist Nathalie Andenmatten explains how cantonal provincialism can get in the way of large-scale geothermal projects. Our underground explorations have brought to light some little-known facts: the ground beneath our feet hosts cutting-edge research, such as the nanotech experiments at the Noise-Free-Lab, but from a legal point of view it is largely a no-man's land.

Many of the protagonists of our second main topic are also at home in the ground: plants, the tiniest of creatures, and rocks. The latest Horizons unearths some amazing treasures in natural history collections.

At the same time, we gaze into the infinity of space: the latest insights take gravitational wave astronomy several steps closer to understanding the Big Bang and allow chemists to navigate a universe of unknown molecules.