By Stephanie Bazley

In an increasingly digitised world, those within STEM fields have a responsibility to communicate their research in an accessible manner to the funders and end-users of their innovation. Steps should be taken to incentivise improved scientific communication by scientists via social media, open source publishing and outreach programs. In this way, we can ensure equal access to research across society, and increased acceptance of innovation, whilst avoiding costly delays to their implementation.

The scientific field was built upon the basic core principles of collaboration and distribution. With the digital age came renewed opportunities for integration with the community. Now, the foundations of science and healthcare are once again changing, as paradigm-shifting technologies such as AI-powered healthcare solutions and genomic medicine become the norm. If our communities do not understand and accept these new services, any positive impact is significantly limited. In order to find a resolution to this problem, we need to focus on improved scientific communication and education, through re-examined frameworks for scientific impact and funding.

Read full article ↵

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 09.46.33

By Aisha Sobey

Blockchain has been framed as a technology that could alter the shape of the world dramatically in the coming decades, influencing how we act and govern ourselves as a society, as the decentralised nature of Blockchain means that these networks wouldn’t be controlled by one person, group, corporation or government. Reuters expects blockchain to be disruptive, to move from simple applications to displacing central market competitors, in many areas such as healthcare, tax and accounting, politics and entertainment. In healthcare for example, the nature of blockchain means it can be used in patient records, to increase consistency, remove duplication and aid in sharing information between relevant authorities.

Read full article ↵

Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 14.02.39

By Michele Sanguanini

CRISPR/Cas9 is a gene editing technology that is revolutionising the way that scientists design biomedical research. In addition to this, CRISPR/Cas9 is opening promising avenues for applications in gene therapy, manufacturing, and agriculture. The commercial and disruptive potential of this invention is so promising that it sparked a ‘gold rush’ towards patenting CRISPR/Cas technologies. Two principal players weighed in to define the CRISPR/Cas9 patent landscape in the US: the University of California Berkeley (UCB) and the Broad Institute, a joint MIT-Harvard research institute. This ultimately led to a high-profile patent battle in front of the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board, where the Broad Institute prevailed in the first instance. The dispute, however, continues worldwide. In this Communication, I will focus on the European front of this litigation; the problem being not only who owns this technology in Europe, but also what are the potential impacts of patent conflicts between academic institutions on European policy and law.

Read full article ↵

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 14.46.06

By Alex Koehler-Sidki

The digital world is changing fast; the computing power of today’s smartphones outpaces that of supercomputers from just twenty-five years ago. We can video-call people on the opposite side of the globe, and we trust that our data are transmitted securely from one device to another. But, given this breathless speed of advancement, can we maintain our security in the coming decades? The use of quantum mechanics could be the answer. Is the UK’s science policy up to it?

Read full article ↵

power-poles-503935_1920

“In these cases, what seems to be crucial is the connection between efforts to reduce inequality and to adopt technologies in sectors such as water and waste management, which are absolutely crucial for Climate Change policies. In terms of policy, it appears that ‘socially just’ is very close to ‘environmentally sustainable.’”

By Nicolás Valenzuela-Levi

Public interest on income inequality increased during the last decade. Among scholars, one of the aspects that has been researched is how does income distribution affect innovation and technology adoption. On the one side, hopes for long term economic development highlight the need to understand what drives innovation. On the other side, inequalities are fuelling social unrest and public debate on what is the fair distribution of opportunities and benefits in our societies. Consequently, the question about the link between income inequality and innovation is becoming more and more attractive.

Read full article ↵