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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 254 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

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

What if AI took care of traffic as well as driving? [Science and Technology podcast]

While public discussion concentrates on the idea of autonomous driving as an added feature in a vehicle, could it turn out that the real advantage lies in interoperability? Continue reading

Digital revolution and legal evolution: Athens Roundtable on the Rule of Law and Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is affecting the architecture and implementation of law in several ways. AI systems are being introduced in regulatory and standards-setting bodies and courts in several jurisdictions, to advance the functions of the la w and facilitate access to justice. Continue reading

What if blockchain could guarantee ethical AI?

Blockchain has the potential to promote compliance with traditional ethical principles, especially in the fields of healthcare, supply chain management and food safety. Continue reading

What if AI could improve thermal imaging, to help fight coronavirus? [Science and Technology podcast]

Thermal imaging cameras have been widely installed in recent months in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and airports as a means of detecting people with fever-like symptoms. Continue reading

What if technology and culture combined to boost a green recovery? [Science and Technology podcast]

Technological innovation has always been an indispensable part of recovery from economic, social and environmental crises. Continue reading

What if artificial intelligence in medical imaging could accelerate Covid-19 treatment?

Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can help radiologists with the triage, quantification and trend analysis of patient data. AI-powered medical imaging is already used to detect critical diseases, and medical imaging has played a significant role in the fight against Covid-19, easing the pressure on healthcare systems. Continue reading

Workplace monitoring in the era of artificial intelligence

Workers’ interests should always be at the forefront of company approaches to privacy and data protection and worker representatives must always be consulted when a new technology is considered for workplace operations and analytics. Continue reading

What if AI-powered passenger locator forms could help stop the spread of Covid-19?

Asking passengers to complete a passenger locator form (PLF) prior to their flights has been seen in recent months as an efficient way to help public health authorities trace travellers potentially exposed to Covid-19 in airports and ports and at other border check points. Continue reading

STOA and the OECD Global Parliamentary Network join forces to promote trustworthy and human-centred AI

As agreed during the Science and Technology Options (STOA) Panel meeting of 11 September 2020, STOA and the European Parliamentary Research Service are entering into a Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (AI) with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Global Parliamentary Network (GPN). Continue reading

What if we could renew all our cells? [Science and Technology podcast]

Regenerative medicine (RM) is an interdisciplinary field that applies engineering and life science techniques to restore tissues and organs damaged by age, disease or trauma, as well as those with congenital defects. Continue reading

Digital human rights and the future of democracy: Lessons from the pandemic

Digital technologies are increasingly shaping our economy, politics, and society. As many online activities leave a digital trace, our digital activity allows automatic gathering of a wealth of behavioural data. Continue reading

STOA establishes a centre of dialogue and expertise on AI

With the launch of its Centre for Artificial Intelligence (C4AI), the appointment of a new International Advisory Board (INAB) focusing on AI, and a partnership on AI with the OECD, STOA is intensifying its activities on artificial intelligence. Continue reading

What if AI could help us become ‘greener’? [Science and Technology podcast]

As ‘green transitions’ become real political goals, what role can artificial intelligence (AI) play in helping to achieve them? Continue reading

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