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GESDA's best pick from the press, web and science journals,
4 - 10 July 2020


A GESDA product curated by Olivier Dessibourg

FOCUS 1

Covid-19 is accelerating human transformation — let’s not waste it // 05.07.2020, WIRED
The "Neobiological Revolution" is here. Now's the time to put lessons from the Digital Revolution to use.
Sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the patients that have had adverse reactions to it is providing valuable learnings that can expedite research already underway. PHOTOGRAPH: NIAID/NIH/SCIENCE SOURCE

FOCUS 2

> Innovations for sustainability in a post-pandemic future // 06.07.2020 
The third report released by the TWI2050 initiative titled, « Innovations for Sustainability: Pathways to an efficient and sufficient post-pandemic future », assesses the positive potential benefits innovation brings to sustainable development for all, while also highlighting the potential negative impacts and challenges going forward. The document outlines strategies to harness innovation for sustainability by focusing on efficiency and sufficiency in providing services to people, with a particular focus on human wellbeing.
> Read also the Press release

GOOD READS ABOUT GESDA'S PLATFORMS THEMES


GESDA Platform 1: Quantum revolution and advanced AI

> A new AI tool to fight the coronavirus // 09.07.2020, Axios
A coalition of AI groups is forming to produce a comprehensive data source on the coronavirus pandemic for policymakers and health care leaders.

> Can an algorithm predict the pandemic’s next moves? // 02.07.2020, New York Times

> Don’t ask if artificial intelligence is good or fair, ask how it shifts power // 07.07.2020, Nature
Those who could be exploited by AI should be shaping its projects.

> AI behaving badly: new model could help AI make more ethical choices // 06.07.2020, SingularityHub

> AI: an unethical optimization principle // 01.07.2020, Royal Society Open Science

If an artificial intelligence aims to maximize risk-adjusted return, then under mild conditions it is disproportionately likely to pick an unethical strategy unless the objective function allows sufficiently for this risk

> Remote quantum computing is the future (World View, by Christopher Monroe) // 02.07.2020, Nature

> Scaling up the quantum chip // 08.07.2020, MIT Press release

> The key device needed for a Quantum Internet // 30.06.2020, Physics

> Breakthrough machine learning approach quickly produces higher-resolution climate data // 07.02.2020, DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory

> “Explaining” machine learning reveals policy challenges (POLICY FORUM) // 26.06.2020, Science

> Relevant pre-AGI possibilities // 20.06.2020, LessWrong

> Machine learning for COVID-19 needs global collaboration and data-sharing // 22.05.2020, Nature Machine Intelligence

> The masterminds behind Toyota’s self-driving cars say AI still has a way to go // 29.06.2020, IEEE Spectrum

> L'intelligence artificielle, de Noam Chomsky à Jean Piaget (VIDEO) // 05.07.2020, Le Point
Il n'existe pas qu'une seule manière d'enseigner aux machines, comme nous l'explique l'entrepreneur féru de philosophie Thomas Solignac.

> China and AI: what the world can learn and what it should be wary of // 03.07.2020, SingularityHub
 

GESDA Platform 2: Human augmentation

> Immortality or bust: Transhumanism in the White House // 25.06.2020, Forbes

> Base editing goes into hyperdrive // 11.05.2020, Nature Cell Biology (PDF at disposal on request)

> Scientists make precise gene edits to mitochondrial DNA for the first time // 08.07.2020, Nature News
Also in Science

> Kernel raises $53 million for its non-invasive 'Neuroscience as a Service' technology //09.07.2020, TechCrunch

> Blood-based biomarker can detect, predict severity of traumatic brain injury // 08.07.2020, NIH

> TB Medication could fight fear and anxiety // 06.07.2020, Futurity/University of Texas

> Protein from blood of exercising mice rejuvenates brains of ‘couch potato’ mice // 09.07.2020, Science

> Blindsight: a strange neurological condition that could help explain consciousness // 02.07.2020, The Conversation

Brainscan @ALL RIGHT RESERVED
 

GESDA Platform 3: Eco-regeneration and geoengineering

> The EU unveils its hydrogen strategy // 07.07.2020, Bloomberg
> La Suisse, pionnière de l’hydrogène // 07.09.2020, Le Temps
Sous l’impulsion d’entreprises privées, la Suisse est le premier pays du monde à lancer une nouvelle forme de mobilité zéro émission sur le plan national. Après avoir imaginé et conçu tout l’écosystème qui va avec

> We can fix the climate as we reboot the economy – here's how // 01.07.2020, NewScientist
As we rebuild, we have a unique opportunity to make the structural changes required to hit net-zero targets, says climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré

> Creating a five-year window into future climate // 09.07.2020, MetOffice

> A retrospective on lithium-ion batteries // 19.05.2020, Nature Communications

> Public–private roles beyond crop yields // 17.06.2020, Nature Food

> OGM ou pas? CRISPR simplifie l’hybridation du maïs // 08.07.2020, Heidi.news

> Excessive Chinese concerns over genetically engineered food safety are unjustified // 18.05.2020, Nature Plants

> Economic benefits of protecting 30% of planet’s land and ocean outweigh the costs at least 5-to-1 (REPORT) // 08.07.2020, Campaign For Nature

> International student teams unveil their lunar habitation concepts at Igluna 2020 // 09.07.2020, SpaceWatch.global

> NASA discovers huge potential caches of metal on the Moon // 06.07.2020, Futurism

> Nasa pumps funding into startup that says it can harvest oxygen from lunar regolith // 09.07.2020, Futurism/TechCrunch

> DOE awards $100 million for energy frontier research centers // 01.07.2020, DOE

CO2 removal "special section"

> Removal of atmospheric CO2 by rock weathering holds promise for mitigating climate change // 08.07.2020, Nature

> Pulling carbon from the sky is necessary, but not sufficient (EDITORIAL) // 09.07.2020, Nature
Based on this Nature article: Potential for large-scale CO2 removal via enhanced rock weathering with croplands

> How carbon-sucking machines could cut aviation emissions // 08.07.2020, MIT Technology Review

> Seagrass losses since mid‐20th century fuelled CO2 emissions from soil carbon stocks // 07.07.2020, Global Change Biology
Seagrass meadows store globally significant organic carbon stocks which, if disturbed, can lead to CO2 emissions, contributing to climate change

A rendering of Aerion's AS2 supersonic jet adjacent to a direct air capture facility. COURTESY: AERION
 

GESDA Platform 4: Science and Diplomacy

> Multilateralism has lost its way // 08.07.2020, The Gobalist
Collective intelligence is needed to build a new multilateralism for the 21st century.

> Reset sustainable development goals for a pandemic world // 06.07.2020, Nature

> How to rethink capitalism and government for a post-pandemic world  (TED TALK with economist Mariana Mazzucato)// 07.07.2020, TED

> Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto // 24.06.2020, Nature
Pandemic politics highlight how predictions need to be transparent and humble to invite insight, not blame.

> Does our focus on genomics distract us from addressing inequality? (REPORT) // June 2020, Hastings Center

> Toward a science of delivering aid with dignity: Experimental evidence and local forecasts from Kenya // 07.07.2020, PNAS

> Un fonds pour lutter contre les bactéries multirésistantes // 09.07.2020, Le Temps

>  Data show panic and disorganization dominate the study of Covid-19 drugs // 06.07.2020, STATNews

> The Public’s Role in COVID-19 Vaccination: Planning Recommendations Informed by Design Thinking and the Social, Behavioral, and Communication Sciences (REPORT) // July 2020, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 

> UNAIDS report on the global AIDS epidemic shows that 2020 targets will not be met because of deeply unequal success; COVID-19 risks blowing HIV progress way off course // 06.07.2020, UNAIDS

> 1,5 Milliarden Menschen werden vom Wasser aus den Bergen abhängig sein // 07.07.2020, UNIZH Press release

> The app credibility gap // 26.06.2020, Nature Biotechnology

> EU wants ideas for European Research Area reboot // 07.07.2020, Science|Business

> Why it is time to stop ostracizing social robots // 29.06.2020, Nature Machine Intelligence

> Elon, Masa and Boris in low-Earth orbit: the battle over satellites in low-Earth orbit // 11.07.2020, The Economist

OF INTEREST

> « The world if… » : scenarios for a warming world // 04.07.2020, The Economist
In this series of articles, each of these climate-change articles is fiction, but grounded in historical fact and real science. The scenarios do not present a unified narrative but are set in different worlds, with a range of climate sensitivities, on different emissions pathways.

> Repenser le monde (Hors-Série) // Juillet-Août, Courrier International 

> Like other species, we have always been on the move // 26.06.2020, Science
About the book: The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move, Sonia Shah Bloomsbury, 2020. 400 pp.

> Chronicle of a pandemic foretold // July issue, Foreign Affairs

> How the world could monitor for potential pandemic viruses // 09.07.2020, Axios
The United Nations Environment Program issued a report this week outlining steps to prevent spillovers and encouraging governments to adopt a "One Health" approach to humans, animals and the environment.
> Also about « One Health », this Heidi.news article: « Comment lier santé humaine, animale et environnementale pour de meilleurs résultats »

> The Pandemic experts are not okay // 07.07.2020, The Atlantic
Many American public-health specialists are at risk of burning out as the coronavirus surges back.

> Robotic lab assistant is 1,000 times faster at conducting research // 08.07.2020, The Verge
Based on this Nature article: « A mobile robotic chemist »

> Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s war against the media // 09.07.2020, The NewYorker
How a controversial rationalist blogger became a mascot and martyr in a struggle against the New York Times

> An optimist takes the helm at the National Science Foundation // 06.07.2020, Science

> Patricia Danzi, coureuse de fronts // 09.07.2020, Le Temps
La nouvelle directrice de la Direction du développement et de la coopération suisse (DDC) est une ancienne sportive d’élite qui a écumé les points chauds de la planète pour le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge

Patricia Danzi, directrice de la Direction du développement et de la coopération. © EDA/ Christoph Dütschler

Tools, ressources and partners

> The Global AI Talent Tracker // July 2020, MacroPolo (spotted by James Crabtree)

> Microsoft's solution to Zoom fatigue is to trick your brain // 09.07.2020, MIT Technology Review

EVENTS

> Managing a raging pandemic while preparing for the next one // 13.07.2020 (4pm CET), organized by OneHealth

> Next Retail: What Will Truly Remain After Covid-19 // 15.07.2020 (4pm CET), organized by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

> Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion // 15.07.2020 (11am CET)

> The Future of Sex : What role will science and technology play in sex, fertility and reproduction in the future?  Find out in a thought-provoking virtual event // 16.07.2020 (8:30-9:30pm), organized by the Science Museum London in partnership with Pride in London

Have a very nice and fruitful week! :-)
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