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

11 - 17 July 2020


A GESDA product curated by Olivier Dessibourg

www.gesda.global

FOCUS 1


Max Tegmark interview: "AI can be the best thing ever for humanity" // 15.07.2020, NewScientist
“The fundamental challenge we have with AI, and technology more broadly, is to win the wisdom race. We need to make sure that the power of technology doesn’t grow faster than the wisdom with which we manage it.” […] “I think about consciousness as the last bastion that has still refused to be captured by physics.” […] “The key to having a good future is to be able to formulate a vision that people around the world can really get on board with. This isn’t a zero-sum game: you can easily envisage scenarios in which AI multiplies the world’s GDP by a factor of 100 or more. It’s very easy to envisage a future in which everybody wins at the same time and becomes much better off. But we have failed epically so far to get humanity to collaborate to make it real.”
Max Tegmark, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, co-founder of the Future of Life Institute, and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute. PHOTO: Bengt Oberger/Wikkicommons

FOCUS 2

> Forum: CRISPR roundtable with Jennifer Doudna and David Liu (PODCAST)// 14.07.2020, Nature
Jennifer Doudna and David Liu talk about the state of the genome-editing field and what challenges remain, especially as various therapies are now entering the clinic.

FOCUS 3

> Attributing extreme events to Climate Change: a new frontier in a warming world // July 2020, OneEarth

Also on that issue: Siberian heat streak and Arctic temperature record virtually ‘impossible’ without global warming // 15.07.2020, Washington Post
Based on a study by the World Weather Attribution project

GOOD READS ABOUT GESDA'S PLATFORMS THEMES


GESDA Platform 1: Quantum revolution and advanced AI

> EU struggles to go from talk to action on artificial intelligence // 16.07.2020, Science|Business
Caught between ‘Big Brother China and Big Data US’, Europe is out to define its own path on the technology, amid fears that regulation could kill the sector - or arrive too late to prevent harm

> DARPA pays $1 million for an AI App that can predict an enemy’s emotions // 15.07.2020, Forbes 

> The Pentagon’s AI director talks killer robots, facial recognition, and China // 08.07.2020, VentureBeat
The U.S. Department of Defense's Joint AI Center will soon begin testing a lethal AI project, which it hasn't identified yet

> An invisible hand: Patients aren’t being told about the AI systems advising their care // 15.07.2020, STATnews

> The biggest flipping challenge in quantum computing // 09.07.2020, Science

> MIT researchers warn that deep learning is approaching computational limits // 15.07.2020, VentureBeat


> IoT Birth Certificates // 14.07.2020, TechAccord
When a baby is born, he/she is given a birth certificate, which is registered with a government agency and is given a seal of authenticity. What happens when an IoT device is born and wants to begin its connected life?  Is it registered with a unique identity and given a certificate? In some cases, it is.  But in many cases it is not.

> Use AI to mine literature for policymaking // 14.07.2020, Nature 

> Chez Frontiers, une intelligence artificielle lausannoise évalue les articles scientifiques // 14.07.2020, Heidi.news

Kamila Markram, co-founder and CEO of Frontiers ©Frontiers


GESDA Platform 2: Human augmentation

> Mitochondrial genome editing: another win for curiosity-driven research (EDITORIAL)// 15.07.2020, Nature

> CRISPR-CasF from huge phages is a hypercompact genome editor // 17.07.2020, Science (New article by Jennifer Doudna)

> NIH researchers generate complete human X chromosome sequence // 14.07.2020, NIH Press release
The accomplishment opens a new era in genomics research.
Based on a Nature article.

> Google is working on tattoos that turn your body into a touchpad // 15.07.2020, c|net

> Une rétine artificielle autonome en énergie // 16.07.2020, Communiqué de presse du CNRS

> Rethink for Human Brain Project as it enters the final phase // 14.07.2020, Science|Business

> Alzheimers’ disease may start in the gut an spread to the brain // 15.07.2020, NewScientist

> Blood iron levels could be key to slowing ageing, gene study shows // 16.07.2020, Press release University of Edinburgh and Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging
Based on article in Nature communications 

> In astounding test, scientists revive damaged lungs for transplant by connecting them to pigs // 13.07.2020, New York Times
Based on a Nature Medicine paper.


GESDA Platform 3: Eco-regeneration and geoengineering

> Joe Biden has a new $2 trillion, four-year climate plan // 14.07.2020, Bloomberg

> The Global Methane Budget 2000-2017 // 15.07.2020, Earth System Science Data
Understanding and quantifying the global methane (CH4) budget is important for assessing realistic pathways to mitigate climate change.
Article in the Guardian about this long-range study: Methane rises to highest level on record // 14.07.2020
And in LeMonde: Les émissions mondiales de méthane ont atteint les niveaux les plus élevés jamais enregistrés //15.07.2020

> This Al Gore-supported project uses AI to track the world’s emissions in near real time // 15.07.2020, FastCompany

> Révision de la loi sur l'énergie: une stratégie globale de décarbonisation fait encore défaut // 14.07.2020, Académies suisses des sciences, communiqué de presse

> Tension arises as clean hydrogen projects spread // 09.07.2020, C&EN
Saudi Arabia to build world’s largest plant for green hydrogen as the UK plans a big blue hydrogen project

> Putting UK at the heart of environmental intelligence // 15.07.2020, MetOffice
A new initiative designed to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges has been announced.

> La prochaine superbatterie // 13.07.2020, EMPA Press release

> Seawater could provide nearly unlimited amounts of critical battery material // 13.07.2020, Science

> Operationalizing ocean health: toward integrated research on ocean health and recovery to achieve ocean sustainability (PERSPECTIVE)// 19.06.2020, OneEarth

> La génomique peut-elle sauver les coraux du changement climatique? // 16.07.2020, Heidi.news
Based on this study: Can genomes predict coral bleaching? (PERSPECTIVE) // 17.07.2020, Science

> New genes control plant height, could lead to flood-proof crops // 16.07.2020, Science

> The Future of Nature and Business // 14.07.2020, WEF 
This document, the second of three reports in the World Economic Forum’s New Nature Economy series, provides the practical insights needed to take leadership in shifting towards a much needed nature-positive economy.

> Michael Shellenberger : « Sans les écolos radicaux, le monde irait mieux » // 05.07.2020, Le Point

> What happens when biology becomes technology? (VIDEO)// June 2020, TED Talk 
"We've been promised a future of chrome – but what if the future is fleshy?" asks biological designer Christina Agapakis. In this talk, Agapakis details her work in synthetic biology – a multidisciplinary area of research that pokes holes in the line between what's natural and artificial – and shares how breaking down the boundaries between science, society, nature and technology can lead us to imagine different possible futures.
 

Special section “The Moon, Mars and beyond”

> Nasa updates protection policies for Moon-to-Mars missions // 14.07.2020, SpaceWatch.global

> The Pentagon moves to launch its own experimental mini space station // 15.07.2020, TheDrive

> Jan Wörner (ESA DG): “Cela n’a pas de sens de vouloir établir l’humanité sur Mars ou la Lune” // 13.07.2020, Heidi.news

> As risks of space wars grow, policies to curb them lag //08.07.2020, Undark

> On va enfin savoir s’il y a de la vie sur Mars // 16.07.2020, Le Point

> NASA teases new ‘VERITAS’ mission to explore Earth’s super-hot sister planet // 11.07.2020, Forbes

> A smarter SDG 18: Space for all (OPINION)// 16.07.2020, SpaceWatch.global
The space community cannot wait for recognition of space as its own unique environment in a post-2030 agenda, which is not guaranteed.

> U.S. Air Force cadets study idea of Space Force bases on the Moon // 15.07.2020, Science

For now, Space Force is a part of the U.S. Air Force. PHOTO: DEPT AIR FORCE

GESDA Platform 4: Science and Diplomacy

> Time to revise the Sustainable Development Goals (EDITORIAL) // 14.07.2020, Nature

> Science has always been political (EDITORIAL) // 17.07.2020, Science

> 75 years after Vannevar Bush’s impactful report, debate continues about directing science (BLOG ESSAY) // 13.07.2020, Science

> Impacts of emerging technologies on inequality and sustainability // May 2020, Special Issue of the Journal of Science Policy&Governance

> Experts predict more digital innovation by 2030 aimed at enhancing democracy //30.07.2020, Pew Research Center

> Nearly one billion people scared of losing homes or land, poll finds // 15.07.2020, Thomson Reuters Foundation

> The socioeconomic determinants of health: what do we really know? // 30.06.2020, ACSH

> Isabelle Chappuis, directrice du Futures Lab de l'UNIL: «Le métier de comptable est à 67% robotisable» // 08.07.2020, Le Temps

> Preventing the next pandemic: zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission (REPORT) // July 2020, UNEP, ILRI, CGIAR,COVID-19 RESPONSE

> Uphold the nuclear weapons test moratorium // 17.07.2020, Science

OF INTEREST

Activism, changemakers and hope for the future (VIDEO) // 08.07.2020, TED Talk
Education activist (2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner) Malala Yousafzai, with humour, shares her dreams of seeing social progress in her lifetime, explains why girls education advocacy must not relent during the pandemic and champions youth activists worldwide leading the fight for a fairer future for all.

Patrick Pouyanné: «Le tournant historique que j'espère» // 16.07.2020, Le Point
Quand le patron de Total s'exprime aussi sur la géopolitique : Amérique, Europe, Chine, Afrique, climat, démocratie et relocalisations…

Cities - try to predict super spreading hotspots for COVID-19 (COMMENT) // 10.07.2020, Nature

Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret release “COVID-19: The Great Reset”, the first policy book on the COVID crisis globally // 14.07.2020, WEF Press release

La population mondiale pourrait décliner à partir de 2064 // 16.07.2020, Courrier International (sur la base d’un article du Guardian)
Based on a study published in The Lancet

China is done biding its time // Foreign Affairs
The end of Beijing’s foreign policy restraint?
Also of interest, the full Foreign Affairs Summer reads: Will China, seizing an opportunity as the United States falters, claim more expansive global role?

Verdrängen wir Gott von seinem Platz? Oder werden wir Menschen selbst bald ersetzt – von unseren eigenen Schöpfungen? // 11.07.2020, NZZ
Homo sapiens schafft sich eine Zukunft, der sein Denken nicht mehr gewachsen ist. Dieses bleibt immer weiter hinter dem technischen Fortschritt zurück.
 

Tools, ressources and partners

> Will "Zoomplacy" last? // May 2020, Foreign Policy
As the coronavirus rages on, diplomacy has moved completely online—with mixed reviews

An analysis of ways to decarbonize conference travel after COVID-19 (COMMENT) // 15.07.2020, Nature

Weaving Indigenous knowledge with scientific research: A balanced approach // 16.07.2020, Phys.org/EGU

> What drives public trust in science-based policies? Ask PEriTiA // 13.07.2020, ESMH

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

> Bruno Oberle named IUCN Director General // 13.07.2020, IUCN Press release
Prior to joining IUCN, Dr Oberle served as Chair of the Green Economy and Resource Governance program at EPFL, where he also headed the International Risk Governance Centre (IRGC). Since 2019, he has chaired the Global Tailings Review, which aims to establish an international standard for the safe management of tailings storage facilities that can be applied to dams around the world. After completing his studies at the ETHZ, Dr Oberle founded and managed companies in the field of environmental consulting and environmental management. In, 1999 he was appointed as deputy director of the Federal Office for the Environment, Forests and Landscape in Switzerland. He then became the director of the newly created Federal Office for the Environment in 2005 – a post he held while State Secretary – before leaving to join EPFL in 2016

EVENTS

> The Coronavirus crisis: what the rest of 2020 will look like // 17.07.2020 (5pm CET) organized by Foreign Policy.
Foreign Policy managing editor Ravi Agrawal and guest Ashish Jha, the faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, will seek answers to those questions and more.
 

> Impact of host genomics on COVID-19: what we know and don’t know // 23.07.2020 (5pm CET), organized by the CDC

Have a very nice and fruitful week! :-)
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ABOUT GESDA
Humanity is facing global challenges more than ever (with regards for example to the COVID-19 crisis), putting people and the planet under stress and in great uncertainty. Simultaneously, the world is experiencing breakthrough in science and technology at an unprecedented pace, sometimes hard to grasp. Anticipation is therefore key to build the future with the aim to fully exploit this scientific potential for well-being and inclusive development for all. 
GESDA Foundation’s ambition is first to anticipate and identify these cutting-edge science and technology advances and then, based on them, develop effective and socially inclusive solutions to emerging challenges by including, very early on in that process, actors of various professional origins and mindsets (science, diplomacy, philanthropy, industry, citizens, youth). 
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