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Listen to a selection of podcasts reporting on the latest science & technology developments, looking into the impact they will have on our lives and capturing their policy implications.

Listen to a selection of podcasts reporting on the latest science & technology developments, looking into the impact they will have on our lives and capturing their policy implications.
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Listen to a selection of podcasts reporting on the latest science & technology developments, looking into the impact they will have on our lives and capturing their policy implications.






What if social media were open and connected?

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. However, unlike 'old fashioned' telephone and email networks, users cannot change provider without losing access to the entire network. A truly open and connected model for social media could help foster a more competitive market that is more responsive to challenges such as privacy and disinformation. Source: © European Union - EP


Maglev transportation, from Ten more technologies which could change our lives

Magnetic levitation is based on the creation of opposite magnetic fields that repel each other to counteract gravity and elevate the magnetised objects off the ground. Could this energy-efficient technology revolutionise transport methods and systems? How can policy-makers ensure that the right conditions are put in place in order to facilitate its development? Source: © European Union - EP


What if all technologies were inherently social?

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral 'things' that can be used for good or bad depending on the user's intentions and skills. However, experts on the relationship between technology and society broadly agree that technologies are social objects that reflect and reinforce human activities and even political values. By...


What if all our meat were grown in a lab?

Could laboratory-grown meat be the answer to our environmental problems, and how would this impact on the EU agricultural sector? Source: © European Union - EP


What if editing genes could fight rare diseases?

A new technique to simplify gene editing might herald a new era of genetic modification. What are the benefits and potential dangers of this technique, and how should policy-makers respond? Source: © European Union - EP


What if we could 3D-print body parts?

Organoids are artificially grown organs that mimic the properties of real organs. What new possibilities for treating diseases, drug development, and personalised and regenerative medicine do organoids provide? Source: © European Union - EP


Radio frequency identification tags

What will be the impact of radio frequency identification tags, and other short-range communication devices, on how the Internet of Things transforms our way of life? Source: © European Union - EP


What if we could 3D-print body parts?

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials. Even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature, the technology has several medical applications. Source: © European Union - EP


Intelligent urban transport systems

How can information technology contribute to alleviating traffic gridlock in our increasingly congested urban areas? Source: © European Union - EP


What if manmade biological organisms could help treat cancer?

Synthetic biology is expected to begin to design, construct and develop artificial (i.e. man-made) biological systems that mimic or even go beyond naturally-occurring biological systems. Applications of synthetic biology in the healthcare domain hold great promise, but also raise a number of questions. What are the benefits and challenges of this emerging field? What ethical and social issues arise from this engineering approach to biology? Source: © European Union - EP


What if technology helped society become more inclusive?

Many ‘assistive technologies’ are under development. They could help people with disabilities to participate more fully in society. But what if we already had enough technology for a truly inclusive society? Source: © European Union - EP


What if your personal health tracker could improve public health services?

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone? Source: © European Union - EP


What if blockchain changed social values?

Blockchain technology could shake up many aspects of our daily lives, from the currency we use to the purchases we make. But what is the impact on our social values, and what can policy-makers do about it? Source: © European Union - EP


What if we were to build skyscrapers from wood?

Will the efforts to combat rising CO2 level in the atmosphere lead us to re-discover wood as a primary material for the construction industry or as a source of renewable energy? Massive reforestation campaign could increase the supply and availability of wood for the economy of tomorrow. Reforestation could significantly contribute to carbon capture out of the atmosphere, and it could positively affect the regional and global climate. Source: © European Union - EP


What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity?

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 input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space...


What if animal farming were not so bad for the environment?

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? Source: © European Union - EP


What if our computers were trillions of times faster?

Quantum mechanics is the physics of the small, and has some weird consequences, such as particles sometimes being in different places at once. These effects could be used to develop new technologies in the areas of sensing, cryptography, and computing. However, a lot of work remains to be done on developing useful devices, and their powerful new applications could have unintended consequences for society. Source: © European Union - EP


What if electric cars became an affordable and convenient way to travel?

Christian Kurrer with James Tarlton. Electric cars are projected to become cheaper than equivalent gasoline cars by 2025, when accounting for their lower running costs. Their widespread adoption would be a big help for the EU in meeting its targets on greenhouse gas emissions and air quality. However, there could be challenges ahead for our electricity grid, the automobile industry, and our supply of lithium, which is currently important for the manufacture of batteries. Source : ©...


What if I had to put my safety in the hands of a robot?

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? Source : © European Union - EP


What if we used blockchain for elections?

We could use blockchain, the same technology that makes Bitcoin work, for e-voting. Elections are usually managed by the authorities in a black-boxed, centralised and top-down process, but blockchain elections would be run by the people in a transparent, decentralised and bottom-up process. While blockchain technology could be the breakthrough in security that is needed to enable e-voting, its success also depends upon the values and politics that it represents. Source : © European Union...