selection

Scientific Foresight (STOA)

The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) carries out interdisciplinary research and provides strategic advice in the field of science and technology options assessment and scientific foresight. It undertakes in-depth studies and organises workshops on developments in these fields, under the guidance of the STOA Panel of 25 MEPs. The STOA Panel forms an integral part of the structure of the European Parliament.
Scientific Foresight (STOA) has written 103 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

How can citizens influence the direction of European science?

Written by Philip Boucher, Recent years have seen strengthened links between science and policy. We often hear about the role of scientific evidence in policy-making, but policy also has a substantial influence on the way that science develops. Scientific research is not only about advancing knowledge, but also about responding to the most important opportunities … Continue reading

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural … Continue reading

How blockchain technology could change our lives

Written by Philip Boucher, At their simplest, blockchains can be described as lists of all transactions that have ever been executed in a specific domain. They are organised into ‘blocks’, connected in linear, chronological ‘chains’, and – unlike traditional records of transactions – public, and decentralised. This means that, instead of having a central ‘middleman’ … Continue reading

Ethical and social challenges of agricultural technologies

Written by Mihalis Kritikos with James Tarlton, ‘We shouldn’t hinder technological development, but we should … protect our citizens and our natural resources” is how Marijana Petir (EPP, Croatia), a member of the European Parliament’s STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) Panel, opened the ‘ethical and social challenges of agricultural technologies – issues for decision-makers’, … Continue reading

Multilingualism in the digital age: The need for a ‘European language programme’

Written by Zsolt G. Pataki with Bianca A. Schranz, The first STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) workshop in 2017, held on 10 January in the European Parliament, and titled ‘Language equality in the digital age – towards a human language project’, attracted many experts and six Members, all actively involved in the discussion. The workshop … Continue reading

Is organic food really good for our health?

Written by Gianluca Quaglio, Despite strong public interest in the subject, very few studies directly investigate the effect of organic food on human health. To help fill this gap, STOA commissioned a study to review scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems … Continue reading

What if animal farming were not so bad for the environment? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, What options exist, especially in terms of new technologies, for reducing the carbon footprint of the livestock industry, how effective might they be, and what could be done to encourage their implementation? The livestock industry is responsible for around 14.5 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The … Continue reading

The future of robotics: find out yourself (animated infographic)

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, What are cyber-physical systems? The integration of Cyber-physical systems (CPS) into society promises many benefits, including increasing the efficiency and sustainability of many of our current practices, and creating new markets and growth. These promises include automated cars, mass-customisation of products, and smart technological aids for disabled … Continue reading

Making difficult decisions in agriculture: STOA Workshop

Written by Mihalis Kritikos and Nera Kuljanic, Scientists have new technological answers to the twin challenges of limiting emissions and feeding a growing population which is simultaneously shrinking the space left for cultivation. However, these answers in turn pose their own ethical and risk management questions. Societal actors and a wide range of stakeholders have … Continue reading

What if computers were trillions of times faster? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, Could the theory of quantum mechanics one day revolutionise commonplace technical devices such as sensors, communication devices and computers? Quantum mechanics is a scientific theory that has revolutionised our understanding of the Universe. In the world of classical physics, a system is always in one particular state … Continue reading

STOA Workshop ‘Can technology help remove language barriers in Europe?’

Workshop hashtag: #LanguageTech STOA website & registration Live-streaming  Written by Zsolt G. Pataki with Bianca A. Schranz Multilingualism is an essential feature of the European Union and respect of linguistic diversity one of its fundamental values: there are 24 official languages and more than 60 regional and minority languages. However, persisting or increasing language barriers are … Continue reading

What can European farming expect from new technologies?

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with James Tarlton, How will information technology revolutionise agriculture in the 21st century? That is the question investigated by a recently published study on ‘Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe’, which was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel. The lead panel … Continue reading

What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Christian Kurrer with James Tarlton, Are electric cars on the verge of becoming the norm, should we encourage this transition, and what would be the consequences for the environment, the automobile industry and our electricity grid? Over the past century, cars have become an integral part of our society. They generally offer greater … Continue reading

Towards a space-enabled future for Europe

Written by Nera Kuljanic with James Tarlton, As well as being a symbol of human curiosity, Outer Space is hugely important for technologies that we use every day, such as mobile phones, live TV broadcasting and weather forecasting. The number of space-faring nations and the amount of space commercialisation are increasing, and, as space research … Continue reading

Understanding the Human Brain: A New Era of Big Neuroscience

Written by Gianluca Quaglio with James Tarlton, Decoding the human brain remains one of the greatest scientific challenges of our time. On 29 November 2016, the STOA (Science and Technology Assessment) Panel will host a workshop entitled ‘Understanding the Human Brain: A New Era of Big Neuroscience’, at which representatives from some of the world’s leading brain … Continue reading

Evidence-based policy-making: Science meets Parliaments

Written by Zsolt Pataki with James Tarlton, The European Parliament must ‘produce results which are evidence-based’. This is how Paul Rübig, Chair of the STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) Panel, set the scene for this year’s round of the MEP-scientist pairing scheme. The objective of the scheme is to foster better connections between the European … Continue reading

What if I had to put my safety in the hands of a robot? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Lieve Van Woensel with Sarah McCormack, Will intelligent robots bring us benefits in relation to security and safety, or will the vulnerabilities within these systems mean that they cause more problems than they solve? Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are currently found in a wide range of services and applications, and their numbers are rapidly … Continue reading

Europe’s outermost innovation frontier: STOA Annual Lecture on Space

Written by Nera Kuljanic with James Tarlton, Webstreaming: http://eptwitter.eu/faCD It fires the imagination and drives innovation. For centuries, ideas about exploration and exploitation of outer space have been occupying our minds and shaping the identity of our species. Today, space could play an increasing role for our daily lives and development. As our ambitions for … Continue reading

Science meets Parliaments – Launch of the MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme 2016

Written by Zsolt G. Pataki, Expert information on scientific and technological developments is crucial to MEPs’ policy-making role. Ensuring MEPs have regular access to reliable information is an essential part of the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel’s mission. It is in this context that STOA is co-organising, with the European Commission’s … Continue reading

What if blockchain technology revolutionised voting? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Written by Philip Boucher, Is blockchain the revolution in security and transparency that is needed to enable e-voting and, if so, what are the implications for the future of democracy? Despite the digitalisation of several important aspects of modern life, elections are still largely conducted offline, on paper. Since the turn of the century, e-voting … Continue reading

EU’s refugee crisis
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,116 other followers

RSS Link to Scientific Foresight (STOA)

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved