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Rather than adapting our environment, today we are learning to adapt ourselves. For the duration of the period of confinement, the Royal Belgian Institute is adapting its slogan from "Science between Heaven and Earth" to "Science between Heaven and Home". We'll be sharing with you the little things that brighten our days in our new life and work routines. Each day you'll see a new addition to the collection here.

April 3 - José Granville (scientist for the exploitation of atmospheric data)


Another weekend is knocking at our door. Enjoy the weather and nature, keep moving, but do it responsibly. José is sharing his piece of nature with quite a few creatures :

Nature and fresh eggs at the back of the garden.

April 1 - Lucie Lamort (Science Communicator)

Video Conference

Does everything you watch also remind you of the fact that you can’t actually hang out with anyone anymore? Watching the show Friends is an easy go to for me for some innocent, ‘feel good’ time for me, but even this now feels far from our reality. Let’s just be grateful we have much easier ways to stay in constant contact!

March 30 - Jessica Bevernaegie (Management Support Attaché)


We’re thanking nurses and doctors, we’re thanking grocery store staff, but have we thanked the people making this massive telework undertaking possible? Jessica, and all of us, are grateful to our highly skilled IT-department, who work both on assisting us in our tech issues with great patience, and providing specialised support to our scientific research (data management, websites, high performance computing…).

I’m very excited to experience a new way of working! Due to the Coronavirus threat, all BIRA-IASB staff who has the possibility to do so must telework. I have had to adjust to the remotely organised meetings. On Friday March 27, I took the minutes of the Staff Meeting using a video conferencing application for the very first time. I had a training session with our IT department a couple of days before in order to get familiar with the programme. I want to thank IT for their support, they are doing a great job to make our work in confinement as easy as possible!


March 27 - Lucie Lamort (Science Communicator)


Horses relaxing in the “Lockdown Lounge”. Going for a run outside has become my favourite moment of the day. Three parts nitrogen, one part oxygen and a splash of trace gas aromatics = the best cocktail you can get!

March 26 - Karolien Lefever (Head of the Communication Department)


This series is all about focussing on the positive. The positive side of a crisis, as Karolien points out, is often how communities are formed and people brought together (from a distance), even when it’s just a matter of celebrating a birthday.

What makes me happy is to see how people care for each other. They are so attentive to each other. They go shopping for at-risk patients, they are ready to help others... All kinds of warm initiatives are set up. People make time for their family, for their neighbors... Even from a distance, they are so much closer. That makes me feel very warm and I hope that many of those initiatives will continue in the post-corona era. The picture shows one of the ‘sweet’ presents dropped at the door for my corona-birthday.

March 25 - Noel Baker (Project Manager for Satellite Missions)

PaintingsCat Painting

Spending more time indoors (and maybe the sunny weather is helping as well) is an opportunity to let our creativity fill the parts of life usually reserved for ‘being busy’. Noel Baker, project manager for some of BIRA-IASB’s satellite missions, has found her own way of adding colour to her days:

Self-isolation has given me extra time to work on other passions, including painting. As an added bonus, I have my paintings hanging on the wall where they are visible to colleagues during video calls, bringing a smile to others as well!


March 24 - Tijl Verhoelst (Atmospheric Composition Scientist)

The younger generation doing science

Expert judgement on NO2 levels during lockdown.

Tijl is getting help from an unexpected source as he studies the levels nitrogen dioxide (a pollutant) over Europe.

March 21 - Eddy Neefs (Head of Engineering)

Down Syndrome Day

Last Saturday, Eddy showed his support for World Down Syndrome Day by joining the movement of wearing unmatched socks.

Maybe it is strange that I want to share a picture of ... my feet today. But you probably know that it is World Down Syndrome Day. As a basketball trainer of a lot of children and young adults with the Down Syndrome, I know how difficult it is for them, and for other persons with a mental disability, to understand what is happening these days. Therefore I send my love and support to all people with a mental limitation and their parents.


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What makes you happy during confinement?