Climate and Energy
The articles in the Summer 2017 Issues in Science and Technology aim to tackle the fundamental aspects of science and society that will shape the world’s future direction. Sheila Jasanoff provides an insightful historical review of the evolving role of scientific expertise in public affairs and makes a compelling case for a nuanced, transdisciplinary, and collective effort to arrive at some widely shared public truths that can provide a foundation for public policy debates. Richard Harris addresses pervasive evidence of a decline in biomedical research reliability. Keith Kloor worries about what happens to scientific disinterestedness in research areas such as climate change and endangered species where the public debate has become highly politicized.
- Two laboratories thought they’d found the perfect workaround to the ethically thorny issue of using stem cells from human embryos for research. In 1999 and 2000, they reported that they’d figured out… Read More
- A full-sized American chestnut was a sight to behold: a hundred feet in height, a trunk 10 feet in diameter, covered in white bracts of funky, acrid-smelling flowers. But on a walk… Read More
- New technologies often spur public anxiety, but the intensity of concern about the implications of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) is particularly noteworthy. Several respected scholars and technology leaders warn that AI… Read More
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Scholars and researchers have long realized that Vannevar Bush’s linear model was flawed and that research successes often emerged from academic scientists working with practitioners on real problems.
- It is 2017. Do you know where the truth is? Hardly a day passes without some major accusation in the media that the nation’s highest office has become a source of unfounded… Read More
- The standard benefit-cost methodology that is used to calculate marginal costs of environmental regulations should not be used for long-lasting greenhouse gases. There is a very big difference between carbon dioxide and… Read More
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Advanced information technologies are adding a new dimension to regional and global conflict and asymmetric warfare. The United States is an especially vulnerable target.
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What at first might have seemed an obscure academic question about the proper production function to use to estimate energy savings from energy efficiency improvements turns out to have rather momentous implications for how difficult it will be to mitigate climate change.
- The world needs clean energy. Clean, as in doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, that can drive climate change. And we need plenty of it within the next couple of decades,… Read More
- In 2013, Canadian ecologist Mark Vellend submitted a paper to the journal Nature that made the first peer reviewer uneasy. “I can appreciate counter-intuitive findings that are contrary to common assumption,” the… Read More
- What was cybernetics? As Ronald Kline tells it in his new intellectual history, The Cybernetics Moment: Or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age, cybernetics suffered from being too many things… Read More
- Vaccinations, now a cornerstone of public health programs worldwide, are one of science and public health’s most impressive success stories. Ironically, it is precisely because immunization is so effective at preventing disease… Read More
- Innovation is almost universally desired but almost always misunderstood. Confusion abounds over such basic tasks as how to describe how innovation works and even what counts as innovation. If culture conditions innovation,… Read More
- Sharon Weinberger’s new book, The Imagineers of War, provides a history of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a technology research and development (R&D) agency at the Department of Defense. Her… Read More