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GESDA's best pick from the press, web and science journals, in relation to GESDA's thematic platforms

28 September - 5 October 2021

A GESDA product curated by Olivier Dessibourg

Geneva Science and Diplomacy
Anticipation Summit

7-9 October 2021, Campus Biotech Geneva


Help shape the future of science diplomacy!
> Be where science and international affairs converge to discuss the future.
> Exchange on the relevance of anticipatory science diplomacy
> Share your experiences and expand your knowledge in this emerging field

Learn about the science breakthroughs most likely to impact people, society and the planet
> Hear about 16 of the most significant science topics with the potential to transform the world
> Sharpen your comprehension of four frontier domains: 1.Advanced AI & Quantum Revolution; 2.Human Augmentation; 3.Eco-regeneration & Geoengineering;  4.Science & Diplomacy

Debate whether and how diplomacy should embrace these advances for the benefit of humanity
> Discuss the implications of emerging science breakthroughs for international affairs and global governance.
> Contribute and propose initiatives to make to most of these breakthroughs and their potential to achieve the SDGs

How can we bridge the gap between science and diplomacy? --> Through Collaborative Science Diplomacy
--> Watch our serie of explanatory videos on the tool GESDA developed to do it: the GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar


> XPRIZE & Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator launch partnership to design a quantum computing competition and establish European headquarters // 01.10.2021, XPRIZE-GESDA joint press release
The XPRIZE and GESDA Foundations are working on an initiative to democratize quantum technologies by enabling more scientists and researchers around the world to get involved and to accelerate the pace of technological discoveries and improve inclusiveness and security of quantum applications. As part of this work, the joint GESDA-XPRIZE Quantum competition will seek to find pathways to increase capacity to solve complex challenges and expand machine learning capabilities using quantum technologies.


> ARPA-H listening sessions summary report, FAQs, forthcoming meeting // 04.10.2021, NIH
In follow-up to the 15 listening sessions that were hosted on the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) earlier this summer, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have posted a summary outlining the key themes heard. These sessions, which included more than 5,100 stakeholders and nearly 250 organizations from across the country, were held to understand the opportunities and barriers to accelerating biomedical and health research breakthroughs from the perspectives of patient advocates, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, professional societies, the academic research community, industry, and others.


> A new pandemic treaty, revised international health regulations, or both? What is the actual roadmap? // 02.10.2021, Health Policy Watch
The World Health Assembly is set to make a fateful decision in November over whether to negotiate a new international ‘Pandemic Treaty’ to improve future pandemic preparedness and response. However, major players like the United States, backed by some civil society groups, have suggested that revisions of the existing International Health Regulations (IHR) would be a better path. Amidst the hyperbole of oft-heated debate over which route might be easier, quicker or more effective, it’s important to understand that either option will require careful, systematic planning and execution of a process that is oft-misunderstood.


> How DeepMind is reinventing the robot // 27.09.2021, IEEE Spectrum
Having conquered Go and protein folding, the company turns to a really hard problem.

© Edmon De Haro


> The chimaera challenge // 29.09.2021, Nature
The ability to develop animals that have human organs could save the lives of people waiting for transplants, but ethical issues still need to be faced.

© Markos Kay


> Human mortality at extreme age // 29.09.2021, Royal Society Open Science
Scientists used a combination of extreme value statistics, survival analysis and computer-intensive methods to analyse the mortality of Italian and French semi-supercentenarians. After accounting for the effects of the sampling frame, extreme-value modelling leads to the conclusion that constant force of mortality beyond 108 years describes the data well and there is no evidence of differences between countries and cohorts. These findings suggest that any physical upper bound for the human lifespan is so large that it is unlikely to be approached. Power calculations make it implausible that there is an upper bound below 130 years. There is no evidence of differences in survival between women and men after age 108 in the Italian data and the International Database on Longevity.

Related article: Secrets of a long and healthy life reside in your gut microbiome // 29.09.2021, New Scientist
How long you live and how well you age rests on many factors beyond your control, but the discovery that gut microbes play a key role means what you eat can make a difference.

© Gretchen Röehrs


> A global research map to identify trends and gaps in digital health // 27.09.2021, Graduate Institute News
I-DAIR just launched a new Digital Health and AI Global Research Map (GRM) to increase visibility and understanding of current trends in digital health. The GRM is an interactive tool developed to provide situational awareness of the Digital Health and AI research and development domains. Its main goal is to identify trends and gaps in research and innovation, and foster academic, governmental and private sector collaboration on AI and digital health. The GRM includes a powerful visualization tool that can generate a detailed landscape of research publications and patents for nine regions from 2011 to 2020. This tool also addresses global and national digital health strategies, and offers a new world map of collaboration opportunities. The GRM aims to help countries visualise their present strengths, prioritise future investments, and track the evolutionary impact of their strategies on research and innovation.



> Humans can't be the sole keepers of scientific knowledge // 28.09.2021, WIRED
Communicating scientific results in outdated formats is holding progress back. One alternative: Translate science for machines.

Illustration: Sam Whitney; Getty Images


> Communicating scientific results in outdated formats is holding progress back. One alternative: Translate science for machines // 03.10.2021, South China Morning Post
China released the country’s first set of guidelines on AI ethics, emphasising user rights and data control. The guidelines are part of China’s goal to become the global AI leader by 2030, but also align with Beijing’s effort to crack down on Big Tech influence



> The forthcoming GESDA Summit gets noticed in the media // October 2021


Platform 1: Quantum Revolution & Advanced AI

Quantum and physics   

> Sundar Pichai to step back from Google, jumps on quantum computing financial tech // 01.10.2021, Daily Express

> How quantum computers can be used to build better quantum computers // 04.10.2021, Singularity Hub

> Quantum matters: fundamental interactions – getting it right in the era of quantum (OPINION by Karina Robinson) // 26.09.2021, The Quantum Daily

> Nurturing quantum computers: error-protected qubits in a silicon photonic chip // 28.09.2021, Newswise

> How IonQ is planning to bring a quantum computer to the masses // 01.10.2021, Fast Company

Artificial intelligence

> Anil Seth finds consciousness in life’s push against entropy // 30.09.2021, Quanta Magazine

A new approach to the data-deletion conundrum // 24.09.2021, Stanford University
A team of computer scientists devised a way to quickly remove traces of sensitive user information from machine learning models.

DeepMind’s AI predicts almost exactly when and where it’s going to rain // 29.09.2021, MIT Technology Review
Related article: Will DeepMind weather forecasts ruin a national obsession? (opinion) // 01.10.2021, Financial Times

© Getty

Platform 2: Human Augmentation


> Genetic information can be messy. Mapping proteins could offer a clearer view of what’s driving cancer // 30.09.2021, STAT

Identical twins carry genetic modifications no one else has // 28.09.2021, Science

Editas CRISPR treatment improved vision for one patient, but not others, early data show // 29.09.2021, STAT

Longevity and health

> Using a mini heart model to develop new therapies // 29.09.2021, Michigan State University

Engineers grow pancreatic 'organoids' that mimic the real thing // 28.09.2021, NSF

Living retinas totally outdo engineering // 28.09.2021, Futurity

The tedious process of training computers to think about medicine, explained (VIDEO) // 29.09.2021, STAT

Mental health: build predictive models to steer policy // 26.09.2021, Nature

A quoi ressemblera la médecine en 2031 ? // 27.09.2021, Le Monde


> Brain-inspired chips could soon help power autonomous robots and self-driving cars // 30.09.2021, Science

New photoelectric implant controls the activity of spinal neurons // 30.09.2021, EPFL press release
Related scientific article: Wireless closed-loop optogenetics across the entire dorsoventral spinal cord in mice // 27.09.2021, Nature Biotechnology

© LSBI / EPFL 2021

Platform 3: Eco-regeneration & Geoengineering


> ‘False choice’: is deep-sea mining required for an electric vehicle revolution? // 28.09.2021, The Guardian

How healthy is a farm's soil? Check how active its microbes are // 30.09.2021, WIRED

Illegal mining in the Amazon hits record high amid Indigenous protests // 30.09.2021, Nature

AI in agriculture: benefits and challenges ahead // 29.09.2021, ESMH


> Financing energy innovation: internal finance and the direction of technical change // 21.09.2021, Environmental and Resource Economics

Can green energy power Africa's future? // 25.09.2021, BBC

> Can nuclear fusion put the brakes on climate change // October issue, The New Yorker


> Outer space politics today: Cold War-esque, and a little more crowded // 01.10.2021, Geneva Solutions

Space policy is finally moving into the 21st century // 29.09.2021, MIT Technology Review

> After technical demonstrations, satellite servicing grapples other issues // 29.09.2021, SpaceNews

Climate and environment

> European gas crunch pushes up carbon price // 04.10.2021, Financial Times

Microsoft’s million-tonne CO2-removal purchase – lessons for net zero // 29.09.2021, Nature

WWF chief: philanthropy won't be enough to reverse biodiversity loss // 29.09.2021, Geneva Solutions

Pulling methane out of the atmosphere could slow global warming - if we can figure out how to do it // 27.09.2021, MIT Technology Review


> New rules will make UK gene-edited crop research easier // 30.09.2021, Nature

Turning cells into manufacturing centers // 30.09.2021, NSF
NSF-supported synthetic biology company transforms production industries.

© Ginkgo Bioworks

Platform 4: Science & Diplomacy

> Strategic partnership dialogue between Switzerland and the United States // 01.10.2021,
FDFA State Secretary Livia Leu welcomed her US counterpart Wendy R. Sherman to Bern today for the first strategic partnership dialogue between Switzerland and the United States. The discussions focused on the prospects for the two countries' bilateral relations in a changing world, and covered scientific and economic cooperation, Switzerland's good offices and various topical international issues.

Swiss ‘water diplomacy’ rises to African challenge // 29.09.2021, Swissinfo

Multilateralism failed Africa; regionalism may work better – Africa CDC Deputy Head at European Health Forum Gastein // 27.09.2021, Health Policy Watch

SEA SAN launches Policy Intelligence Platform // 04.10.2021, INGSA Newsletter
The INGSA Southeast Asia Science Advice Network (SEA SAN) recently launched its Policy Intelligence Platform, an online platform to facilitate real-time discussions and collaboration between network members, particularly in the context of science advice. The SEA SAN is a pilot project to trial a network for knowledge-sharing and collaboration between senior-level decision-makers, academicians, and professionals in Southeast Asia. 

Ratification by Germany and Slovenia revives prospects for EU unitary patent // 30.09.2021, Science|Business

Politicians need to be more active when it comes to greenflation // 30.09.2021, Financial Times

California has experienced a surge in energy prices due to a nasty combination of weather shocks, wildfires and reforms to mitigate climate change. © Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty


The Future of conquest // 24.09.2021, Foreign Affairs
Fights over small places could spark the next big war.


> The 100 most influential people of 2021 // 15.09.2021, TIME
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, was recently named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2021. (Photo: DR)


> Scientists created holograms you can touch—You could soon shake a virtual colleague’s hand // 01.10.2021, Singularity Hub

© Vandrage Artist /


> Comment anticiper, accompagner et partager les révolutions scientifiques à venir ? // 08.10.2021, 19:15 CEST, organized by GESDA, The Graduate Institute and Fondation pour Genève
Avec Enrico Letta, ancien Premier ministre italien.

>  How to prepare for the future of policymaking // 21.10.2021, 4pmCET, organized by apolitical
The world is rapidly changing. From technology innovations to radical policy changes due to Covid, policymaking looks very different now than it did a decade ago, and will only continue to evolve. In order to keep pace with this changing world, policymakers need to change the way they work, too. Join this free online workshop, organised in collaboration with the European Commission’s EU Policymaking Hub and OECD, about the future skills policymakers need to succeed. You’ll hear about the key skills required to future-proof your policymaking career, and learn about what trends to expect as policymaking continues to evolve.

Humanity, now more than ever, is facing global challenges (especially with regards to the Covid-19 crisis), putting people and the planet under stress and in great uncertainty. Simultaneously, the world is experiencing breakthroughs in science and technology at an unprecedented pace, which are sometimes hard to grasp. Anticipation, therefore, is key to build the future with the aim of early and fully exploiting this scientific potential for the well-being and inclusive development of all. The Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator was founded in Geneva in 2019 to tackle this issue.

GESDA's ambition is to first anticipate and identify these cutting-edge advances in science and technology throughout various domains (Quantum revolution & advanced AI, Human augmentation, Ecoregeneration and Geoengineering, Science and Diplomacy). Based on this scientific outlook, it will, with its Diplomacy community, translate potential leaps in science and tech into tools that can bring effective and socially-inclusive solutions to emerging challenges. Most importantly, this process will be achieved not only by scientists or diplomats, but will include actors of various professional origins and mindsets (from philanthropy, industry, citizens, to youth).

Forward Forward
Have a very nice and fruitful week! :-)
Copyright ©  2020, All rights reserved for the selection. All rights reserved by the respective media for articles reproduction.
Selection of an article in this press review doesn't mean endorsement by GESDA.

Mailing address:
Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator
c/o Fondation Campus Biotech
Chemin des Mines 9
1202 Geneva
+41 58 201 02 61

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