I was honoured to participate in Daniele Valisena’s doctoral defense yesterday as a member of the grading committee. Daniele’s thesis, Coal Lives: Italians and the Metabolism of Coal in Wallonia, Belgium 1945-1980, is an ambitious and far-reaching study of how migration, landscape, and capitalism all combined into a multi-faceted socio-eco-technical assemblage in Belgium immediately following World War II. Don Mitchell (Uppsala University) provided many insightful and challenging questions as the opponent while Patrizia Dogliano (University of Bologna), May-Brith Ohman Nielsen (University of Agder) and I participated as members of the grading committee. The defense was conducted entirely on Zoom with about 50 attendees from around the world and the grading committee was unanimous in its decision to pass Daniele’s thesis. Congratulations to Dr Valisena and his supervisors, Marco Armiero and Sverker Sörlin, for a job well done!