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Good morning, this is Pip. Today, we’re covering the news that the former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been honoured with the UN refugee agency’s Nansen Refugee Award in recognition of her efforts to welcome people fleeing war and violence to Germany.

On the health front, Haiti is the latest country to be hit by a wave of cholera outbreaks sweeping across vulnerable countries, prompting the WHO to put in a request for vaccines from their emergency stockpile.

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Pip Cook


On our radar

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Angela Merkel, the former Federal Chancellor of Germany, has been awarded the UNHCR’s Nansen award for her “leadership, courage and compassion” in welcoming over 1 million refugees to Germany. (Keystone/DPA/Michael Kappeler)

🥇Angela Merkel wins UN award for protecting refugees. Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been given the UN refugee agency’s highest award for her efforts to welcome refugees into Germany during her tenure. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that Merkel had been selected as the latest recipient of the Nansen Refugee Award for her efforts to welcome more than 1.2 million refugees and asylum seekers into Germany between 2015 and 2016, at the height of the conflict in Syria and amid deadly violence in countries around the world. She is expected to travel to Geneva next Monday to receive the award.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

Science and diplomacy reads by GESDA

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(Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already shaping parts of our lives and will continue doing so – there’s no question about that. Below are two news articles on the topic that nicely collide – or do they, really?

In a NewScientist article, we learn that people trust AI to make big decisions - as long as a human checks them. “People are more willing to accept decisions made by an artificial intelligence if a human is in the loop, according to a survey carried out in Germany”, says the paper.

And in a MIT Tech Review piece (read below), we read that “the EU is creating new rules to make it easier to sue AI companies for harm. A bill unveiled this week, which is likely to become law in a couple of years, is part of Europe’s push to prevent AI developers from releasing dangerous systems. And while tech companies complain it could have a chilling effect on innovation, consumer activists say it doesn’t go far enough.”

So, on one hand these articles show a step towards giving some controlled trust to AI while on the other, plans being made to hit back in case something goes wrong. Maybe, in the end, two ways to make sure that, when collaborating, AI remains at the service of humans.

Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA


The EU wants to put companies on the hook for harmful AI. A new bill will allow consumers to sue companies for damages.

MIT Technology Review (EN)

There's a new competition for faster, cheaper DNA sequencing.


We’re likely to overshoot the Paris goals and we need to start talking about it.


The ethics of mind-reading. Tapping into someone’s thoughts may soon be technologically possible.

360info (EN)

Genes’ effect on lifespan depends on sex and age, mouse study finds.


Space-based solar power: could beaming sunlight back to Earth meet our energy needs?

Physics World (EN)

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This selection is proposed by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator GESDA, working on anticipating cutting-edge science and technological advances to develop innovative and inclusive solutions for the benefit of the planet and its inhabitants.

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