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This tag is associated with 72 posts

What if we genetically engineered an entire species? [Science and Technology Podcast]

A gene drive is a technique for manipulating ecosystems by introducing self-propagating custom genes among a population of sexually reproducing organisms, using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology. Continue reading

What if algorithms could abide by ethical principles? [Scientific and Technology Podcast]

Algorithms are step-by-step procedures for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Continue reading

From post-truth to post-trust?

Is the ‘very concept of objective truth’ fading out of the world, as George Orwell wrote in his Homage to Catalonia in the 1930s? Or is truth even ‘dead’, as Time magazine asked in 2017? Can we draw clear lines between objective facts, spin and lies? What are the consequences of ‘truth decay’ for trust, democracy and multilateralism? Continue reading

Computational propaganda techniques

The techniques used by anti-democratic state and non-state actors to disrupt or influence democratic processes are constantly evolving. The use of algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence is boosting the scope and the efficiency of disinformation campaigns and related cyber-activities. Continue reading

What if ‘nudging’ good habits could make us healthier? [Scientific and Technology Podcast]

The link between high consumption of trans fats, sugar and salt, found in large amounts in processed food, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), type 2 diabetes and various cancers is well established. Continue reading

What if gene editing became routine practice?

Gene-editing techniques are still relatively new, but are constantly multiplying, and they seem exciting in their promise, especially since a more precise version – CRISPR-Cas9 – has recently been used for the first time in a human trial. Continue reading

What if blockchain were to be truly decentralised? [Scientific and Technology Podcast]

Technological systems, once introduced in a particular socio-economic context, often evolve in unforeseen ways and may fall prey to unexpected power relations. Continue reading

ASEP10 gives priority to climate change

The 10th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Meeting (ASEP10) will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 and 28 September 2018. The meeting will focus on climate change and environmental challenges. The final declaration will be transmitted to the 12th ASEM Summit, to be held in Brussels on 18 and 19 October 2018. Continue reading

Remaining ‘united in diversity’ thanks to multilingualism

The diversity underpinning the European project is embodied in the harmonious co-existence of 24 official languages. Following the success of the European Year of Languages (2001), the Council of Europe designated 26 September as the European Day of Languages. Continue reading

Ready, steady, go: European Week of Sport 2018

The low levels of physical activity among both children and adults in the European Union (EU) are alarming, and have become a matter of great concern to policy-makers. Continue reading

US-North Korea summit [What Think Tanks are thinking]

US President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for a historic summit in Singapore on 12 June 2018. They reached a short agreement that emphasised the North’s commitment to ‘work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’, but provided no details on when Pyongyang would give up nuclear weapons or how that might be verified. Continue reading

What if law shaped technologies? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Technology does not operate outside its legal context. Law reacts to technological developments through the adoption, for example, of health and employment rules, or tax and risk assessment standards, to prevent technological advances from undermining human rights, environmental standards and democratic values. Continue reading

US tariffs: EU response and fears of a trade war

On 1 June 2018, US tariffs entered into force for steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, following US President Donald Trump’s decision not to extend temporary exemptions. Continue reading

The 2018 G7 Summit: Issues to watch

On 8 and 9 June 2018, the leaders of the G7 will meet for the 44th G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, for the annual summit of the informal grouping of seven of the world’s major advanced economies. The summit takes place amidst growing tensions between the US and other G7 countries over security and multilateralism. Continue reading

What if technologies shaped the law? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Εxploring the relationship between law, technological innovation and regulatory governance has always been a challenging task for policy-makers. Technologies are often seen as ordinary objects of formal law that can fit into traditional doctrinal classification. Continue reading

North Korea: No summit for the moment

Following fears in 2017 of an escalation of the North Korean crisis, an unexpected detente has come in early 2018. North Korean athletes took part in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, and Pyongyang undertook a charm offensive followed by a successful historic inter-Korean summit in late April, which may prompt long-awaited peace talks. Continue reading

What if social media were open and connected? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Social media platforms are often thought of as open and connected spaces, since they allow users to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations. It seems obvious that to have access to a social network it should be necessary to open an account with the platform, and that on closing the account that access would be lost. Continue reading

GDPR goes live: A modern data protection law

Aimed at strengthening citizens’ rights uniformly while reducing burdens for companies and public entities, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies fully as of 25 May 2018. The long-awaited (and often feared) law is part of a reform package adopted in 2016 to foster trust in a digital age. The recent revelations on misuses of data show how the underlying values of the GDPR standards are essential for democracy. Continue reading

Plenary round-up – Brussels, May I 2018

The May I plenary session highlight was the European Commission statement on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework package adopted by the College of Commissioners on the morning of 2 May 2018. Continue reading

Media freedom trends 2018: Turkey

Over the last two years, media freedom in Turkey has deteriorated rapidly. Although the EU expressed support for the government in the face of the failed military coup in July 2016, it is now concerned about respect for fundamental values in Turkey. Continue reading

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