2020 Science Archives

Will driving your own car one day be as socially unacceptable as smoking in public?

September 26, 2016

In 2014, over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. In 2012, more than two million Americans visited the emergency room as a result of car crashes. And an estimated 94 percent of the crashes that cause these injuries and fatalities are attributable to human choice or ...

Taking on the complex ethics of emerging brain technologies

September 15, 2016

Imagine infusing thousands of wireless devices into your brain, and using them to both monitor its activity and directly influence its actions. It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, and for the moment it still is – but possibly not for long. Brain research is on a roll at the ...

Navigating the nanotechnology risk landscape – pointers for early career scientists

July 28, 2016

Navigating the risk landscape that surrounds nanotechnology development can be a daunting task – especially if you are an early career researcher just getting started in the field.  There are plenty of studies and speculations around what might – or might not – be risky about nanoscale science and engineering.   ...

A fifth grader (and up) introduction to nanotechnology

July 26, 2016

The latest video from Risk Bites takes a four minute dive into what nanotechnology is, and why it’s important.  It was created as a primer for 5th graders – which probably means that there’ll be a lot of 5th graders at heart watching it! It also takes a somewhat less than conventional ...

Elon Musk’s new master plan will take more than advanced tech to pull off

July 23, 2016

Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Motors – has just revealed the second part of his master plan for the company. And it’s a doozy. Not content with producing sleek electric cars (which to be fair, was only ever a stepping stone to greater things), Musk wants to fundamentally change ...

How risky are the World Economic Forum’s top 10 emerging technologies for 2016?

June 23, 2016

Take an advanced technology. Add a twist of fantasy. Stir well, and watch the action unfold. It’s the perfect recipe for a Hollywood tech-disaster blockbuster. And clichéd as it is, it’s the scenario that we too often imagine for emerging technologies. Think superintelligent machines, lab-bred humans, the ability to redesign whole ...

Guiding “questions” for science communication – personal reflections

June 17, 2016

A few days ago, I was asked to articulate my “rules” for effective science communication. I don’t actually have a check-list for developing science communications (and I’m not sure that a rigid check list would be such a good idea).  But I do have an informal (and until now not clearly ...

What’s the latest on carbon nanotube safety?

June 15, 2016

Just a few years ago, carbon nanotubes were front and center of discussions around the safety of engineered nanomaterials.  These days, not so much. So what happened?  Did we do the science and discover that they’re just as safe as any other form of carbon? Or did they simply slip off ...

How to give the perfect scientific presentation

June 5, 2016

Too often, it seems, the mark of a “good” scientist is the ability to give an excruciatingly embarrassing and incomprehensible scientific presentation – the sort of presentations that litter academic conferences. Borne out of long-standing frustration, I posted a tongue-in-cheek 12-point plan for the “perfect” presentation on Twitter yesterday: How to give ...

Nanoparticles in baby formula: should parents be worried?

May 17, 2016

There’s a lot of stuff you’d expect to find in baby formula: proteins, carbs, vitamins, essential minerals. But parents probably wouldn’t anticipate finding extremely small, needle-like particles. Yet this is exactly what a team of scientists here at Arizona State University recently discovered. The research, commissioned and published by Friends of ...

With carbon nanotubes in the news again, where’s the public interest in possible risks?

March 29, 2016

Back in 2008, carbon nanotubes – exceptionally fine tubes made up of carbon atoms – were making headlines. A new study from the U.K. had just shown that, under some conditions, these long, slender fiber-like tubes could cause harm in mice in the same way that some asbestos fibers do. As ...

Peanut allergy – what does the LEAP study tell us?

March 28, 2016

Peanut allergy continues to increase, and affects an estimated 1% – 3% of the population in Western countries.  Yet we’re still not clear what the cause is. A recent British study though is indicating that exposing infants to peanuts early in their life can – surprisingly perhaps – decrease the chances of them ...

Want to inspire kids about science? Read on …

March 12, 2016

Between April 25 – May 6, I’m A Scientist USA will once again be pitting some of the country’s smartest young scientists against middle and high school kids, in the quest to be the Last Scientist Standing. If you’re up for the challenge, you have until April 4 to throw your hat ...

Public universities must do more: the public needs our help and expertise

March 12, 2016

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, has been in the national headlines for months, culminating in its central role at a recent debate in the city when Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton slammed government officials for dismissing the health of residents. Sadly, not every marginalized community can depend ...

Three ways advanced genetic engineering could help address Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases

February 3, 2016

In just a few short weeks, Zika has shot from being an obscure infection to a headline-hitting public health disaster. The virus is spreading rapidly across the Americas (and potentially beyond), is suspected of being associated with birth defects that affect brain development and currently has no specific vaccine or ...

Can citizen science empower disenfranchised communities?

January 27, 2016

Early in 2015, a group calling itself the Nappy Science Gang hit the parenting scene in the U.K. It was made up of moms and dads who used cloth nappies – or diapers – with their kids, and wanted to know the best ways to keep them clean and safe. The ...

Technology innovation and life in the 21st century: Views from Civil Society

January 22, 2016

In 2009, I commissioned ten guest articles on technology innovation from people working for, associated with or generally reflecting the views of Civil Society groups. Over six years on, these essays still present insightful and often challenging views on technology innovation, and are well worth a revisit. The aim was to expose readers to perspectives on technology ...

What will it take to master the fourth industrial revolution?

January 15, 2016

In April 2000, Bill Joy famously wrote in Wired Magazine: Our most powerful 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech – are threatening to make humans an endangered species. At the time, Joy was an accomplished technologist and chief scientist at Sun Microsystems. Yet he argued passionately that society was in ...

What if we approached risk like entrepreneurs approach innovation?

January 12, 2016

If you’ve been following this month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), you’ll know with absolute certainty that the future is cool, shiny and stuffed to the brim with “must-have” gadgets. Reading the ebullient reports, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything other than overflowing optimism for how technology will transform our lives. And ...

Five steampunk technology trends to watch for in 2016

January 4, 2016

It’s that time of year again when technology pundits peer into their crystal balls, and predict the hottest tech trends of the coming twelve months. Let’s be honest though, these lists can get a little stale. So I thought I’d break ranks this year by imagining what a top ...

ABOUT
 

2020 Science is published by Andrew Maynard - Director of the Risk Innovation Lab at Arizona State University. More ... 

Andrew can be found on Twitter at @2020science and on YouTube at Risk Bites

CONNECT
 

TWITTER: @2020science

YOUTUBE: Risk Bites

FACEBOOK: 2020 Science

LINKEDIN: ANDREW MAYNARD

EMAIL: andrew.maynard@asu.edu

FOLLOW ON TWITTER
Follow me on Twitter
SUBSCRIBE TO WEBSITE

Please enter your email address to receive notifications of new 2020 Science posts by email.

Join 105 other subscribers

LATEST POSTS
MORE FROM 2020 SCIENCE
 

2020 SCIENCE ARCHIVE

ABOUT