by Christina Schweitzer

While most scientists look to the future, heritage scientists focus on preserving the past. Bridging science and art, this little-known field encompasses the conservation, interpretation and management of cultural assets. The educational and cultural importance of the UK’s historical assets is widely acknowledged, but they also contribute billions of pounds to the economy in the form of heritage tourism and conservation of historic buildings. Despite the economic benefits of investment in heritage science, the field is largely overlooked by policymakers and the scientific community at large, and has suffered from a lack of funding and career opportunities for scientists.

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by Enora Robin

Cities have become key players in the global economic landscape, with only 600 cities contributing to 60% of the world’s economic output. The proportion of world’s population living in urban areas is projected to be rising from 50% today to 75% in 2050. Despite the economic benefits derived from the concentration of economic activities, concern has emerged about the negative externalities of urbanised modes of development. As a response to these challenges, more attention has been given to inclusive and sustainable urban modes of development that would reconcile the objectives of sustainability and economic competitiveness. The concept of smart cities has gained in popularity among policy-makers over the last two decades. However, smart city programmes have often been focusing on the development of ICT infrastructures. This brief article argues that digital strategies must be complemented by policies that improve people’s and local firms’ ability to grasp the potential benefits of these new technological and networking opportunities.

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by Victoria Plutshack

As the UK aims to produce 15% of its energy consumption from renewables by 2020, planning policy becomes increasingly important to facilitate the large-scale implementation of renewable technologies. As it stands, there is great opposition to wind farms across Wales, the North East of England and Scotland. How can we improve the planning process and companies’ engagement with the local community to increase the success rate for planning applications? This piece looks at what we can learn from psychological and sociological frameworks, such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour and concepts of place attachment, to craft a suitable government response.

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by Kai Ruggeri

What are the policy implications of patients who travel abroad to receive required medical care? Is there the possibility for a coordinated international response? These questions and many more are discussed by Kai, who highlights the clear lack of evidence on what is referred to as Global Health Access Policy (GHAP) to address the multitude of political, medical, and ethical issues surrounding this phenomenon. Kai suggests that dealing with the situation requires an understanding of its consequences for human welfare and outlines how his research group at Cambridge is engaging with the debate through evidence.

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by Arnoud Groen

As Healthcare costs continue to rise unsustainably in relation to the wider economy, how can we tackle this problem without simply spending more public funds? Arnoud argues that many of the solutions needed to improve healthcare are inexpensive, and rely more on collaboration between academia, industry and entrepreneurs, as opposed to simply more government spending. This piece outlines some opportunities to deal with this problem, including stratified medicine, the development of new uses for existing interventions and re-thinking the logistics of patient care.

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