Economics and Regulation

Not-so-magic Bullets: Searching for Better Policies to Govern Drug Discovery

by Alexandra Gürel In his upcoming book, Strange Pill: Evidence, Values, and Medical Nihilism, philosopher of Jacob Stegenga charts a history of the term “magic bullet”: a drug that is both specific and effective, curing the patient without side effects. Stegenga argues that the early 20th century was a “golden age” for magic bullets, with the

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Policy in the Face of Uncertainty: The Smart Meter Dilemma

by Victoria Plutshack Smart technologies, which can communicate and share information, have been hailed as a panacea for a range of our energy problems. The possibilities for energy savings and greater energy efficiency are enormous. The first step in realizing the smart vision of the future is the humble smart meter, which is due to be

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Paving the Way for Driverless Cars: A Policy Roadmap

by Ed Leon Klinger Driverless cars present an unprecedented opportunity to transform the way we transport goods and people through cities and across countries, posing benefits to our collective safety, environment and economy. They also pose new risks; as cars become more connected, they become more vulnerable to malicious attacks by thieves and terrorists. This essay

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Escaping the Slippery Slope: Freedom of Expression and Cyberspace Regulation after the Delfi Case

by Konstantina Georgaki, Emmanuel Giakoumakis, and Alessandro Rollo In June 2015, the European Court of Human Rights delivered the final judgment in the Delfi case, where it upheld the decision of an Estonian court to fine a news portal for hosting anonymous defamatory comments. This controversial judgment has a chilling effect on freedom of expression in

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Water as a Strategic Tool in Central Asia

by Hannah Smith Limited water resources, weak states and ethnic tensions across Central Asia lead many analysts to believe that the region will bear witness to the world’s first war over water. Through drawing on fieldwork, this study takes the example of the geographically isolated village of Barak (a Kyrgyz exclave) to demonstrate how water resources

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The Role of Research in Developing Energy Policy

by Andrew Robertson Decarbonising the electricity sector has been identified as a short-term priority for cutting UK greenhouse gas emissions in response to the risks of climate change. The scale and rate of change in the electricity sector means that there is a strong need for energy research and a big potential for new research to

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Weighing the Benefits and the Risks: Better Defining Regulation of New Technologies

by Michele Mastroeni Regulation of science and technology is an important factor in how our technological landscape develops, and whether a technology makes it to the end-users. While ideally regulation will be based on broadly accepted values and trusted scientific assessment, the reality is much more complicated. Just as different technologies spur intense debate in society,

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Pathways for Academic Impact: Biased Towards Commercialisation?

by Tim Guilliams Given the current economic climate it is important to maximise academic impact on society. Measures of academic impact have been dominated by the commercialisation of academic discoveries, thereby failing to capture the complete spectrum of academic activities that lead to societal impact. In fact, universities do not appear to act as a significant

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Beyond Human Right vs. Commodity: Time to Realistically Assess Water Scarcity

by Simon Damkjaer The water resources community remains stuck in a futile debate of whether water constitutes a human right or a commodity, which is resolved through the content of General Comment 15: water constitutes a human right, which puts conditions on economic approaches to water and its commodification. Instead, it is time to address the

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Smart Cities, Digital Connectivity, and Social Inclusion: Paving the way to inclusive urban strategies

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

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