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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, and it hosts the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH), a platform to promote networking, training and knowledge sharing between the EP, the scientific community and the media. All this work is carried out under the guidance of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), composed of 27 MEPs nominated by 11 EP Committees. The STOA Panel forms an integral part of the structure of the EP.
Scientific Foresight (STOA) has written 266 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

New STOA study ‘Carbon-free steel: Cost reduction options and usage of existing gas infrastructure’

Written by Andrés García Higuera. To assess the prospects of success for Europe’s Green Deal policies (most importantly, the transition to a carbon-neutral EU economy by 2050), it is necessary to address the evolving technological and behavioural trends and their impact on the implementation of the Green Deal. With this in mind, the European Parliament’s … Continue reading

Disinformation and science – How gullible are young Europeans with regard to false science news?

Misinformation is not new – but the information ecosystem within which it is now spreading is. The public sphere has evolved into a completely new phase, where information filtering mechanisms are often ineffective. Continue reading

New STOA series of podcasts on artificial intelligence, in partnership with the OECD

In the context of this partnership, we are currently producing a series of podcasts examining various aspects of AI development and policy with key experts from the field. Continue reading

What if objects around us flocked together and became intelligent? [Science and Technology podcast]

Smart objects have evolved beyond the original idea of the internet of things (IoT): to offer a better way to track products, replace obsolete barcodes and improve logistics. Continue reading

Prioritising ethical principles in the governance of disruptive technologies

In view of the (now published) legislative proposal on artificial intelligence (AI), the workshop focused on identifying the main ethical challenges associated with the development of disruptive technologies and the best practices for mitigating the related risks. Continue reading

How EU policies can improve healthcare across Europe

The event, held online on 22 April 2021, was jointly organised by STOA, the Biomedical Alliance in Europe (BioMed Alliance), the European Hematology Association (EHA), the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM), and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). It included speakers from a range of backgrounds, including policy-makers, experts from the European Commission and health professionals representing medical associations. Continue reading

Principled governance of online platforms to safeguard social and labour rights

Online platforms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook play an increasingly central role in the economy and society and are recasting the relationships between customers, advertisers, workers and employers. Continue reading

What if consumers could use devices to sequence DNA? [Science and Technology podcast]

The genetic ‘alphabet’ contains four ‘letters’ or, in other words, four chemical codes for the information stored in DNA, representing a sequence that, if unwrapped, can stretch up to two metres and fill a book of one million pages. Continue reading

Countering hybrid threats and disinformation campaigns

Disinformation campaigns begin with the manipulation of content, usually addressing real facts from a distorted perspective, rather than presenting audiences with entirely fabricated stories. Continue reading

STOA delegation virtual visit to the Joint Research Centre (JRC) site in Ispra, Italy

Initially scheduled for May 2020, this STOA Panel virtual visit took place on Tuesday 16 March 2021, following an introductory presentation of the JRC mission and activities and a formal invitation issued to Members by the Director-General of the JRC, Stephen Quest, at the STOA Panel meeting of 29 January 2021. Continue reading

STOA Workshop ‘Decarbonising European industry: hydrogen and other solutions’

What are the options for closing the carbon cycle through substitution of fossil fuel use and how can they help to meet the Green Deal objectives? How can the EU hydrogen strategy contribute to this objective? Continue reading

Can online platforms have a net positive effect on the economy and society?

Online platforms, such as Google, Amazon and Facebook, play an increasingly central role in the economy and society. They have grown to an unprecedented scale, propelled by data-driven business models. Continue reading

How artificial intelligence and space technologies will enable the green and digital transitions

Europe is a space force and communicating the tangible benefits the European space programme delivers daily to all Europeans is an important priority. Continue reading

What if we could engineer the planet to help fight climate change? [Science and Technology podcast]

Efforts to curb carbon emissions are falling short. As climate change impacts become all too clear, geoengineering is again in the spotlight. Continue reading

When are online platforms liable for illegal or harmful content?

The current EU liability framework is incredibly complex and often inadapted to modern entities. It is therefore difficult for the subjects involved to understand exactly when a given obligation applies to them, and what kind of behaviour is required. Continue reading

The future of crop protection in Europe

STOA’s latest foresight study, ‘The future of crop protection in the EU’, examines the environmental, societal, health and economic impact of deploying new crop protection practices in the EU. Continue reading

Harmonise EU research and regional policies

European Union (EU) policy promotes innovation with the aim of triggering an economic dynamism that will increase the competitiveness of the EU as a whole. Continue reading

Work in the era of AI: Time for a Digital Social Contract

Technological change, far from being deterministic in its nature and effects, is open to reform. There is no guarantee that digital technologies will destroy jobs, nor any certainty that these technologies will lead to more and better jobs. Continue reading

Trust is the key to understanding the Infodemic

The debate about sound and evidence-based science communication, effective in engaging the public and countering mis- and disinformation, was already quite lively long before the Covid‑19 pandemic hit. Continue reading

Surveillance capitalism and Europe’s moral duty to shape a human-centric digital future

‘The European Union represents humanity’s best hope to prevent lawless, unprecedented computational concentrations of knowledge and power from becoming as irreversible and poisonous to our societies as the toxic concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have become to our earth.’ Continue reading

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