The Ongoing Transformation Podcast

Eternal Memory of the Facebook Mind

Social media platforms and streaming services such as Facebook and Spotify analyze huge quantities of data from users before feeding selections back as personal “memories.” How does this feature affect the way we remember—and even what we think memory is? We spoke to sociologist David Beer about how algorithms and classifications play an increasingly important role in producing and shaping what we remember about the past. Read More

Consciousness

The Humbling Complexity of the Hard Problem

Scholars have long argued over solutions to what philosopher David Chalmers dubbed “the hard problem of consciousness”: How does the phenomenon of conscious awareness—the feeling of being conscious—arise from the physical brain?Read More

THE LATEST

Liminal Design

An AI That’s Not Artificial at All

A series of complex wargames led a DARPA team to develop a new way of thinking about how to use artificial intelligence to help people work together in complex, multi-system, difficult-to-predict situations. AI-powered liminal design could integrate human and artificial intelligences to empower people to innovate and solve problems.Read More

Science & Engineering

Cultivating America’s STEM Talent Must Begin at Home

Talent is the treasure on which America’s science and engineering enterprise and the nation’s prosperity, health, and security depend. If revolutionary scientific insights and technological innovations are to be made in America, then the scientists and engineers who imagine and create these insights and innovations must be developed and nurtured in America too.Read More

Citizen Engagement

Putting the Public in Public Utilities Commissions

Public utility commissions are an essential and often overlooked avenue for influencing the policymaking process. Nowhere is the need to increase citizen engagement more urgent—and more challenging—than at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where enhancing public input could help find more equitable pathways for infrastructure change.Read More

Sustainability

Can It Scale?

Discussions of food and agriculture often elicit intense emotional responses. What we eat and how we eat it depend on our background and class, along with differing ideas about animal welfare, sustainability, health, and attentiveness to climate change. Finding consensus on how to improve food systems—or even what constitutes “improvement”—is very difficult. A new book makes that lack of consensus clear.Read More

In focus

James Webb Space Telescope

Reflections on a Tool of Observation

Timothy Makepeace creates photorealistic drawings of the most powerful space telescope ever built, using some of artists’ oldest tools: charcoal and pastel.Read More

A New Inquiry

the next 75 years of science policy

The Next 75 Years of Science and Innovation Policy

A series of ambitious, challenging, and innovative proposals on how to structure the resources of science to enable the best possible future.Read More

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In response to essays published in Issues, our readers weigh in on critical topics in policy related to science, technology, and society.

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The Stakes for Science

Stark, High, and Urgent

We can see pandemics as accelerant for scientific innovation and science as solution to pandemics. Without the pandemic, certain advances in science would occur more slowly or not at all. Without science, our ability to track and suppress a pandemic, reduce its impact, and preserve lives and health would be drastically curtailed. A pandemic reveals both lessons from science and lessons for science.Read More

EPSCoR

A More Productive Way to Spread Federal Science Funding Around

Congress now has the opportunity to implement reforms to federal science agencies that could help distribute federal research investment across a more diverse array of institutions and geographies.Read More

Science Funding

A Vision for the Future of Science Philanthropy

What will science philanthropy need to get right in the coming years in order to have a positive impact on the scientific enterprise and to help move society toward greater collective well-being?Read More

Great Science

Nurturing Early-Career Researchers

Supporting the needs, including mental health, of science trainees requires policy changes to shift the environment in which they work—and could result in a healthier, more diverse, and more productive scientific workforce.Read More

News

Creativity During COVID

cpnas creative responses archive

A Time Capsule of Creative Responses to the Pandemic

Creativity often flourishes in stressful times. A remarkable collection of creative responses from individuals, communities, organizations, and industries is now available to explore in a new archive.Read More

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