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

12 April - 03 May 2022

A GESDA product curated by Olivier Dessibourg


> How CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing is transforming healthcare and agriculture, a decade after its discovery // 26.04.2022, The Economist
The Economist podcast editors speak to Jennifer Doudna, the Nobel laureate who pioneered the revolutionary tool.
Related articles:
> Base edit your way to better crops //27.04.2022, Nature
> China focuses on ethics to deter another ‘CRISPR babies’ scandal // 27.04.2022, Nature
> CRISPR creator says we could engineer species to fight climate change // 26.04.2022, Futurism
> The scientist who co-created CRISPR isn’t ruling out engineered babies someday // 26.04.2022, MIT Technology Review



> Switzerland’s President Ignazio traveled to Japan and Italy and presented GESDA's activities // 18.04.2022 and 29.04.2022,
On 18 April, President Ignazio Cassis met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo. On the agenda were the war in Ukraine and the related security challenges in Europe and Asia. Other topics included the tasks of both countries in international organisations and cooperation in trade and science. On 21 April, Mr Cassis gave a speech at Kyoto University  (“Collaborative science diplomacy: overcoming global challenges together“) on the link between science and innovation and diplomacy, presenting GESDA’s activities.
On 29 April, the president was received at House of Switzerland Milano for its inauguration. There, he had an exchange with Italy's foreign minister, Luigi di Maio, and minister for technological innovation, Vittorio Colao. They talked about strengthening the UN and the Geneva office in this area, as well as the importance of science diplomacy and the role of GESDA.

(©Minister of Foreign Affairs Japan)


> AI Colonialism: Artificial intelligence is creating a new world order // April 2022, MIT Technology Review
Over the last few years, an increasing number of scholars have argued that the impact of AI is repeating the patterns of colonial history. European colonialism, they say, was characterized by the violent capture of land, extraction of resources, and exploitation of people – for example, through slavery – for the economic enrichment of the conquering country. While it would diminish the depth of past traumas to say the AI industry is repeating this violence today, it is now using other, more insidious means to enrich the wealthy and powerful at the great expense of the poor.
Related articles:
> The Movement to Decolonize AI: Centering Dignity Over Dependency // 21.03.2022, HAI Stanford University
> Cities take the lead in setting rules around how AI is used // 09.04.2022, Wall Street Journal
> Timnit Gebru is building a slow AI movement  // 31.03.2022, IEEE Spectrum
> Tackling the perils of dual use in AI (Editorial) // 22.04.2022, Nature

Related website: The EU AI Act
Related newsletter: The EU AI Act Newsletter, by the Future of Life Institute

(© EDEL RODRIGUEZ for MIT Tech Review)


> The US bioeconomy: charting a course for a resilient and competitive future // April 2022, Schmidt Futures
To seed the next wave of innovation in synthetic biology and the bioeconomy, Schmidt Futures launched a task force in October 2021. The program aims to advance transformative bio-based and bio-enabled applications in areas such as health, clean energy, industry, and agriculture. The Task Force on Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy developed recommendations and a strategy to help realize the potential of the U.S. bioeconomy for maximum public benefit. A key focus of the task force is to bring multiple types of capital to bear to accelerate and expand biotechnology applications, including carbon management and sustainability. Members of the task force include subject matter experts across academic disciplines, including physics, ethics, and synthetic biology; venture capitalists and industry leaders from both small and large companies; and leaders from the biotechnology consortia.


> Scaling the circular carbon economy: 2021 Market Report key takeaways // 07.04.2022, XPrize Foundation
2021 was a watershed year for the Circular Carbon space, with the community experiencing explosive growth. Just a few years ago, the space had few investors, and many early-stage startups only without much support. According to the just-released Circular Carbon Network Annual Report, capital invested, number of companies, and company valuations are all up. But what is the Circular Carbon Network? The Circular Carbon Network (CCN) is an XPRIZE initiative founded on the idea of building and nurturing the most important sector of the 21st century — managing our waste CO2, converting a portion of that waste into a valuable, sustainable resource for society. We noticed a severe lack of data about startups, investors, and market trends in the field, and decided to try to help fill that gap. The Circular Carbon Network provides insight into the economic history and psychology of the rapidly growing carbontech field by studying four different groups: Innovators, Investors, Corporates, and Catalysts.
Related articles:
> XPrize Carbon Removal selects 15 milestone winners // 27.04.2022, C&E News
> New polymer membrane technology efficiently removes carbon dioxide from mixed gases // 02.05.2022, National Science Foundation


> How can arms control and disarmament contribute to a secure cyberspace? // 12.04.2022, ICT for peace foundation, Publication by Amb. (ret.) Martin Dahinden, Vice-Chair
The arms race in cyberspace poses risks to international stability and security. Arms control and disarmament have thus far played almost no role in international discussions on cybersecurity, even though arms control has been importance to global stability for more than half a century. This article shows that experience from arms control is relevant to the cyber domain, both for understanding the policy process and as a source of inspiration for concrete solutions.


> Trans men’s eggs have been matured in the lab – and could help them have children // 26.04.2022, MIT Technology Review
A new technique means eggs can be grown from the ovaries of transgender men, even after years of testosterone therapy.  It could offer them new ways to start a family.



> The big promises of brain-reading devices and implants, which are helping paralysed people to move, talk and touch // 20.04.2022, Nature
Implants are becoming more sophisticated — and are attracting commercial interest.

Related article: Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands Grasp New Feats // 06.04.2022, IEEE Spectrum

(© Pitt/UPMC)


> We created the ‘Pandemicene’ // 28.04.2022, The Atlantic
By completely rewiring the network of animal viruses, climate change is creating a new age of infectious dangers.

Related articles:
‘Making pandemics’: deforestation is laying groundwork for next global health crisis  // 03.05.2022, Health Policy Watch
New CDC team: A ‘Weather Service’ to forecast what’s next in pandemic // 19.04.2022, The Washington Post
> Bill Gates: We can make COVID-19 the last pandemic // April 2022, TED

(© Getty; The Atlantic)


> Why people and AI make good business partners // February 2022, TED
What happens when the data-driven capabilities of AI are combined with human creativity and ingenuity? Shining a light on the opportunities this futuristic collaboration could bring to the workplace, AI expert Shervin Khodabandeh shares how to redesign companies so that people and machines can learn from each other.
Related articles:
> Co-bots get the good jobs while workers get a human-robot interaction nightmare // 13.04.2022, Science
> Robots will open more doors than they close // 27.04.2022, Science


Platform 1: Quantum Revolution & Advanced AI


> Neutral atome quantum computers edge closer to reality with two new breakthroughs // 25.04.2022, Singularity Hub
Related article: Multi-qubit entanglement and algorithms on a neutral-atom quantum computer // 20.04.2022, Nature

> Quantum encryption could stop scammers from faking their locations // 28.04.2022, NewScientist

> Seismic sensing using quantum cryptography network // 02.05.2022, Physics

> Scientists just cracked one-way superconductivity, thought impossible for over 100 years // 02.05.2022, SingularityHub


> Brain-inspired computing needs a master plan // 13.04.2022, Nature

> Tempers flare over emotion-sensing AI //25.04.2022, AXIOS

> South Africa’s private surveillance machine is fueling a digital apartheid // 19.04.2022, MIT Technology Review

> China monitors the metaverse with state-backed NFT network // 27.04.2022,

> Without regulation, the metaverse will be like social media on steroids // 28.04.2022, World Politics Review


Platform 2: Human Augmentation


> Quantum experiments add weight to a fringe theory of consciousness // 18.04.2022, New Scientist
> Detection of stroke by portable, low-field MRI: A milestone in medical imaging // 20.04.2022, Science Advances
> Startups are turning to a century-old technology to fuel a resurgence in neuro drug development // 29.04.2022, STAT

> Parallel transmission in a synthetic nerve // 21.04.2022, Nature Chemistry



An mRNA vaccine with a twist – it copies itself – protects against COVID-19 // 21.04.2022, Science
Company’s limited data release backs promise of new, lower dose vaccine designed to be easier to distribute and cheaper
For mRNA, covid vaccines are just the beginning // 18.04.2022, WIRED
Largest genetic study to date unveils DNA profiles that lead to cancer // 26.04.2022, Singularity Hub
The Human Pangenome Project: a global resource to map genomic diversity // 20.04.2022, Nature


Longevity and health

Governance of emerging technologies in health and medicine – creating a new framework // 13.04.2022, NEJM

Researchers design nanochips that penetrate inside cells as mechanical drugs // 27.04.2022, MirageNews

Delivering precision oncology to patients with cancer // 19.04.2022, Nature Medicine

The salty secrets of extreme longevity // 21.04.2022, NEO.LIFE
Growing younger: Radical insights into ageing could help us reverse it // 27.04.2022, New Scientist

(© Shutterstock/Microone)

Platform 3: Eco-regeneration & Geoengineering


White house sets sights on commercial fusion energy // 25.04.2022, American Institute of Physics

Isolated Russia says it will invite "non-Arctic" states to develop its North // 18.04.2022, The Barents Observer


Biotech firm announces results from first US trial of genetically modified mosquitoes // 18.04.2022, Nature
Oxitec reports that its insects behaved as planned – but a larger trial is needed to learn whether they can reduce wild mosquito populations.

The World’s first genetically engineered wheat is here // 04.04.2022, The Breakthrough Institute

Climate and environment

MIT Climate Grand Challenges: A whole-of-MIT initiative to deliver high-impact climate solutions for the world // April 2022, MIT
Ocean water samples yield treasure trove of RNA virus data // 26.04.2022, NSF

The Climate Game cheat sheet: how to get to net zero by 2050 // 21.04.2022, Financial Times
Solar geoengineering could redistribute malaria risk in developing countries // 20.04.2022, Nature Communications


Save the Earth… and space // 22.04.2022, Nature Astronomy
Historical under-regulation of the Earth’s atmosphere and the orbital space around it have brought the astronomy and space communities to a critical point at which action is needed to move towards a sustainable future.
The end of astronauts – and the rise of robots // 19.04.2022, WIRED
Human space travel has captured the global imagination, but robots may be a better, cheaper, and safer option.
Humans could one day survive on the surface of Mars thanks solar-powered generators // 27.04.2022, Daily Mail
2022 Planetary Science Decadal Survey: Recommendations for Major Missions // 21.04.2022, American Institute of Physics
Africa’s growing space enterprise (editorial) // 22.04.2022, Science



Insects and lab-grown meat could cut food emissions by 80 per cent //25.04.2022, New Scientist
 Sequencing 100,000 species to secure food supplies // 11.04.2022,
Arctic projects must not be postponed because of sanctions, Putin orders // 14.04.2022, The Barents Observer

Sand and Sustainability: 10 Strategic Recommendations to Avert a Crisis // 26.04.2022, UNEP

Platform 4: Science & Diplomacy

Ukraine invasion ends “naïve” era of science diplomacy // 28.04.2022, Science|Business
While stressing research across borders remains crucial, European universities now acknowledge that cooperation is not always an unalloyed good that transcends geopolitics

The importance of science diplomacy during difficult times // 29.03.2022, University Affairs

How emerging technology is breaking arms control // 24.04.2022, Lawfare
New technologies are emerging at a dizzying pace, and arms control agreements cannot seem to keep up. Amy Nelson examines how the increased speed of technological change is creating holes in existing arms control agreements and how policymakers might better respond as the speed of change continues to grow.

On display in Ukraine: the dangerous, futuristic world of virtual war (Opinion) // 07.04.2022, Los Angeles Times

Does facial recognition tech in Ukraine’s war bring killer robots nearer? // 30.03.2022, openDemocracy

> Digital surveillance in democracies: ‘Who will guard the guardians?’ // 02.05.2022, GenevaSolutions

Ukraine war prompts Europe's new emergency rules for the Internet // 25.04.2022, WIRED
The Digital Services Act has granted the European Commission unprecedented power over tech companies in times of war.
Related article: The U.S. won't catch up to Europe on tech regulation anytime soon // 25.04.2022, Washington Post

La PeaceTech pour contrecarrer la cyberguerre (Opinion) // 05.04.2022, Le Temps
L’Ukraine est-elle un terrain d’essai à l’aube d’une nouvelle ère de cyberguerres? s’interroge Mariazel Maqueda López, cheffe de la division de PeaceTech, centre EssentialTech, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Countering the future chemical weapons threat // 21.04.2022, Science

The biotech battlefield // 25.04.2022, Foreign Affairs
How to contend with China’s risky R&D

Start talking about mRNA vaccine access now, say experts // 28.04.2022, SciDev.Net
Related article: A global system for the next generation of vaccines // 28.04.2022, Science

The dilemma of vaccine ‘charity’ vs building Africa’s production capacity // 25.04.2022, Health Policy Watch
Senior WHO leadership reshuffle expected after member states agree on new financing formula for Global Health Agency  // 28.04.2022, Health Policy Watch
Space blocs: the future of international cooperation in space is splitting along lines of power on Earth // 24.04.2022, Singularity Hub
The world needs the Arctic Council now more than ever // 19.04.2022, The Barents Observer

Multilateral diplomacy in today’s world: UN Youth Representatives, Naji Osman & Franka Weckner // 24.04.2022, UNOG

GESDA Platform: Knowledge Foundations

Dutch pledge nearly $1 billion to support underground gravitational wave detector // 19.04.2022, Science
All four of the key DNA building blocks have been found in meteorites // 26.04.2022, New Scientist
We have now discovered all four building blocks of DNA in meteorite samples, suggesting that space rocks may have delivered the compounds to Earth, contributing to the origin of life

(© The Natural History Museum / Alamy)


> How a billionaires boys’ club came to dominate the public square // 01.05.2022, The Washington Post
The information that courses through legacy publications and social media networks is increasingly shaped by billionaires and other wealthy dynasties

> We Have a Creativity Problem // 16.04.2022, The New York Times
Outwardly, we praise innovation. Inwardly, we harbor a visceral aversion to it, studies have found.

> The benefits of mistakes in science // 20.04.2022, Sciena
Failing to perform an experiment, considering the wrong hypothesis, having a paper rejected: failure is not only normal in science, it is also essential for cutting-edge research. What is the experience of researchers in the ETH Domain with this sensitive topic?

> La mort de l’article scientifique est-elle le futur de la recherche? // 21.04.2022,

> The fun way to predict the unpredictable // 22.04.2022, Financial Times
How games can help us predict crises we never knew were possible

(© Guillem Casasus)


From the lab bench to the United Nations // 15.04.2022, TEDxIHEID
Dr. Marga Gual Soler is a science diplomat bridging the world through science. She is the founder of SciDipGLOBAL, a purpose-driven advisory, strategy, research and training firm helping governments, universities, international organizations and scientific institutions strengthen the role of science in global policy for a renewed multilateralism. Currently, she is the Senior Science Diplomacy Advisor to the GESDA. (Photo: TED)

Anticipating scientific advances for humanity // 15.04.2022, TEDxIHEID
Martin Müller is Executive Director of the Academic Forum at GESDA – the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator. As such, he acts as the interface with the global science community and leads the rolling development of the Science Breakthrough Radar, GESDA’s tool for science anticipation. (Photo: TED)

Marie-Laure Salles: «Il faut réaffirmer aujourd’hui l’humanité créative» // 16.04.2022, Le Temps
A l’heure de la guerre en Ukraine et de la percée des populismes, notamment en France, la directrice de l’Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement à Genève juge essentiel de «réenchanter l’humain», mais aussi de contribuer à redéfinir un multilatéralisme en panne. (Photo: IHEID)

This is the moment to reset our multilateral institutions // 28.04.2022, devex
Mark Malloch-Brown is the president of the Open Society Foundations and a former United Nations deputy secretary-general. ((Photo: DR)


> WHO warns of dangers of health misinformation across social media following Elon Musk’s $44 bn Twitter acquisition // 27.04.2022, Health Policy Watch

> Switzerland and Côte d’Ivoire establish new Science, Technology and Innovation fund // 14.04.2022,

> When political reporters get training on science issues, they improve the sourcing in their science-related stories months later // 02.05.2022, NiemanLab

> The World isn't scared of GMOs anymore // 04.04.2022, American Council on Science and Health

(© LloydTheVoid via Pixabay)


> “Beyond the hype”, by Fiona Fox // 13.04.2022, E&T
How the relationship between science and the media can often allow exaggeration to flourish at the expense of fact.

(© LloydTheVoid via Pixabay)

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, Eco-regeneration & Geoengineering, Science & 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).

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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:
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