Public health double whammy?
Improved autonomous vehicle technology could reduce the tens of thousands of annual U.S. deaths due to human error behind the wheel. Are driverless cars the next big public health intervention?
Now’s the time to think about what we’re getting into with neurotechnologies.
Brain image via www.shutterstock.com.
How will neurotech evolve? An NAS workshop this week focuses on social and ethical opportunities and challenges we face both now and down the road.
Imagine where working together on open data can get us?
Puzzle pieces image via www.shutterstock.com.
This method of crowdsourcing science legwork is ready to expand into other disciplines – and maybe the amateurs themselves can start calling some of the shots.
He’s certainly thinking big….
Norsk Telegrambyra AS/Reuters
The technological goals are lofty. But fitting the new tech into the social and political landscape might pose the bigger challenge.
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt faced a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing called ‘The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition’ in 2011.
While technology companies have embraced Washington, they haven’t yet embraced political disclosure.
Welcome to the future….
Robot via www.shutterstock.com.
A list of 10 new technologies poised to transform our lives provides a chance to think about any related risks sooner than later. Reconceptualizing "value" changes what responsible development means.
Cup of coffee via Shutterstock.
For 15 years, coffee got a bad rap for possibly being a cause of cancer. After filtering though more than 1,000 studies, a panel reversed itself June 15, saying coffee is safe after all.
Wildfires are getting bigger and more costly. Can we return them to a less dangerous state by looking to the past?
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Restoring forest landscapes through active thinning and letting fires burn in order to minimize fire damage has proved harder and less effective than advocates believed, says historian of fire.
CubeSats upon release from the International Space Station.
Just about anyone can get a tiny, cheap satellite into orbit these days. As we consider how to deploy them responsibly, inspiration comes from an amateur community of enthusiasts.
What are you looking at?
Baby eating via www.shutterstock.com.
While iron-fortified rice cereal is often the first solid food babies eat, it's not a necessity.
What’s in the bottle is good for me, right?
Microscopic needle-like particles don't seem like something you'd want to feed a baby. Whether safe or not, the way we deal with nanoscale food additives leaves plenty of other questions.
Hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.
Fire has played a vital role in human history, and will continue to. Recent advances in fusion herald the freeing of fire from captivity back into its natural form.
Vantablack is the darkest pigment ever – thanks to carbon nanotubes.
Two very similar new carbon nanotube products, released eight years apart, provoked very different reactions. What's changed about the way we consider nanotechnology risks and benefits?
Getting healthy foods on shelves is only part of the solution.
Does making healthy food accessible actually affect what people purchase and what they eat? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think.
Sunrise on Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park.
National Park Service/Wikimedia
Why do Americans revere the Grand Canyon? It taught us to look at nature in a new way, and to respect iconic places by leaving them alone.
Academics must engage with the communities outside the ivory tower.
Columns image via www.shutterstock.com
Contributing to the public good should be a top priority for public and land grant universities. Here, some ideas on how to match what institutions value with academics' own drive for service.
What’s the best tool for taking tests?
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Do students get better scores on a pen and paper test or on a computer-based test? It all depends on the student's mastery of the method.
Sorting pupae of genetically modified mosquitoes before release to the wild.
Insecticides and mosquito nets only get you so far. Synthetic biologists are ready to take the battle against mosquito-borne disease to the level of DNA – which might spell the insects’ ultimate doom.
Flint, Michigan residents couldn’t get answers about their water – so they did their own research.
A new model of citizen-led science is emerging – as in the case of Flint, Michigan's poisoned water. Rather than simply supporting scientists, citizens ask their own questions and set the research agenda.
Digital and physical worlds are predicted to become inseparable in the fourth industrial revolution.
After steam, electricity and computers come cyber-physical systems: the fourth industrial revolution. A new book by the World Economic Forum's founder foresees a rosy future – but that'll take work.