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Good morning, it's Tammam in Geneva. There were days, long ago, when I would have given anything to be an aid worker. Now, I can’t exactly remember why.

This morning I'm sharing my thoughts on systemic oppression within humanitarian organisations with you. The great divide is between "expats" and "local staff" which are both positions I have been in. Don't worry, I'm also giving paths for reflection and action.

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Tammam Aloudat, Geneva

29.08.2020


A few words from GESDA and the reason for anticipation


Humanity is facing more than ever global challenges (with regards, e.g., to the COVID-19 crisis), putting people and the planet under stress and in great uncertainty. Simultaneously, the world is experiencing breakthroughs in science and technology at an unprecedented pace, sometimes hard to grasp. Anticipation is therefore key to build the future with the aim to early and fully exploit this scientific potential for the well-being and inclusive development of all. The Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator has been founded in Geneva in 2019 to tackle this issue.

GESDA's ambition is first to anticipate and identify these cutting-edge science and technology advances in various domains (Quantum revolution & advanced AI, Human augmentation, Ecoregeneration and Geoengineering, Science and Diplomacy). Then, based on this panoramic scientific outlook, it will translate those potential sci&tech leaps into tools to develop effective and socially inclusive solutions to emerging challenges. Most importantly, this process will be achieved not only by scientists or technologists, but will include actors of various other professional origins and mindsets (diplomacy, philanthropy, industry, citizens, youth).

Olivier Dessibourg, GESDA


Anticipatory best reads by GESDA


Quantum physics and artificial intelligence are amongst the most promising and strategic fields in research. It is not astonishing that the US is pouring in a lot of money (see below). But what is it worth in international comparison? Let’s just take AI. On Thursday 27 August, a new report by International Data Corp. estimates that the worldwide spending on AI research will more than double until 2024, from $50 billion to $110b. Health-care and banking will see the biggest demand and investments. In the EU? Increase of investment of $565 million in 2017 to $1.69 billion by the end of 2020. France alone: a $1.69 billion initiative with the goal to transform the country into a “global leader” in AI research and training. South Korea: in 2018, unveiling of a multiyear, $1.95 billion effort to strengthen its R&D. The race is on, and the US is at the front, but not sole leader (yet?)

(EN)

Trump administration unveils $1 billion quantum and artificial intelligence initiative. An influx of cash for research in quantum and AI is designed to help build more powerful computers and other tools for processing information, which could accelerate research and other scientific developments.

Washington Post (EN)

Blood substitution therapy rescues the brain of mice from ischemic damage. Blood replacement therapy leads to profoundly improved stroke outcomes in mice. These results offer new insights into the mechanisms of stroke damage.

Nature Communications (EN)

Vaccines that spread themselves. Prevention is better than cure, so we should start using genetic techniques to stop dangerous animal diseases jumping to humans. This technology would also reduce the motivation to cull or exterminate ecologically important disease reservoir species.

New Scientist (EN)

Synthego raises $100 million for AI-driven gene-editing. The merging of the two fields (AI and gene-editing) is considered as amongst the most promising steps to develop genome engineering technologies, with unprecedented possible consequence on what makes us humans.

VentureBeat (EN)

The foundation of efficient robot learning. General-purpose robots are being designed to help with domestic tasks. However, developing the learning applications needed to allow robots to undertake even simple tasks is extremely challenging... so far, at least.

Science (EN)

China’s plan to cut coal and boost green growth. Innovations in energy-storage technology are a mainstay of the nation’s bid to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Nature (EN)

The rise of environmental justice. In the midst of a pandemic and an uprising for racial equity, advocates for communities of color near industrial facilities seize the moment. This article explores several states of the USA.

Chemical and Engineering News (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.


GS news is a new media project covering the world of international cooperation and development. Don’t hesitate to forward our newsletter!

Have a good day!

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