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European Parliament - EPRS Science and Technology podcasts


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






What if AI could help us become ‘greener’?

While some argue that AI can potentially be useful or even indispensable in ‘green transitions’, important questions remain open. Should AI be only used in resolving various specific problems (for example, intelligent pollinating robots replacing a declining bee population) or should be employed in ‘governing’ the sustainability of complex socio-economic systems such as mobility, food or energy? While the latter option is currently technically unattainable and may be ethically dubious , it...


What if 'rewilding' could help reverse biodiversity loss in Europe?

Globally one out of eight million species are threatened with extinction, and Europe is no exception to this trend… The EU’s 2030 diversity strategy wants to put nature on the path to recovery. But what if one of the ways to do that was to let nature take care of itself? It’s called rewilding! Let’s take a walk on the wild side! Source: © European Union - EP


What if fashion were good for the planet?

We shop ‘til we drop, and chuck out just as fast… But this fast fashion, throwaway consumer culture is destroying our planet and creating huge social problems. So, if the EU is serious about achieving its green objectives, it will need to find a way to turn fast fashion into clean, ethical fashion… Source: © European Union - EP


What if insects were on the menu in Europe?

While commonly consumed in many parts of the world, insects have long been off the menu in Europe…but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates! With Europe’s focus shifting towards a more sustainable agri-food sector, entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest… But are Europeans ready for an insect-based diet? Source: © European Union - EP


Impact of coronavirus on EU aid to the most deprived

The coronavirus crisis has made life even more difficult for the most deprived people in our society… To protect them, as well the workers and volunteers delivering aid to them, and ensure no one falls through the net, the EU has had to take some exceptional measures… Source: © European Union - EP


Understanding the EU's approach to cyber diplomacy and cyber defence

Malicious cyber activities pose an increasing threat to our societies, our economies and our political systems. And no one is safe from virtual, yet very real… attacks. So, what tools does the EU have to respond to such threats? And what is its strategy? Join us in the world of cyberspace! Source: © European Union - EP


EU agricultural policy and climate change

Declining yields due to warmer temperatures and less rain, biodiversity loss, increased risk of floods… the impacts of climate change on European agriculture are irrefutable… But what impact does agriculture have on climate change? And what role can it play in helping address this challenge? Source: © European Union - EP


How digital technology is easing the burden of confinement

The coronavirus pandemic forced most of the world’s population into lockdown… But thanks to digital technologies, we were mostly able to keep on working, studying, shopping and chatting with our loved ones without leaving our homes! But the crisis has also highlighted some painful truths about our digital world… Source: © European Union - EP


Understanding EU data protection policy

In the digital era, data is the new currency… And data protection, an increasingly important social, legal and political matter for the EU! But how well protected is our data? And what challenges lie ahead? Source: © European Union - EP


What if AI could advance the science surrounding dementia?

With no reliable prognosis or effective treatment, dementia is a growing public health concern in Europe and world-wide...But what if artificial intelligence applications could help advance the science on dementia? Source: © European Union - EP


What if we could fight antibiotic resistance with probiotics?

Our longtime use - and abuse…- of antibiotics in humans, agricultural livestock management, and food production has led to an increased threat of antimicrobial resistance, making us all more vulnerable to infectious diseases… But what if the answer lied in probiotics? Source: © European Union - EP


What if crop protection were eco-friendly?

Synthetic pesticides used to control pests such as fungi, bacteria, insects or weeds have proved to be rather effective, but they are coming under increasing scrutiny, as they have come to have worrying consequences for human health and the environment. What alternatives are the possible alternatives to help protect plant health and boost crop yields? Source: © European Union - EP


What if life expectancy reached 150 years?

In Europe, better healthcare, social and technological improvements are allowing us to live longer, and longer. If we link this to another trend, declining fertility rate… this could radically change the way our societies look and function! Want to know more? Let’s peek into the future! Source: © European Union - EP


What if hydrogen could help decarbonise transport?

Tackling climate change is becoming increasingly urgent, yet the majority of our transport still runs on fossil fuels. While electric battery cars provide a response, batteries are too heavy to use in ships or aeroplanes. Could using hydrogen gas and fuel cells to produce electricity on board provide the answer? Source: © European Union - EP


What if technologies substituted for humans in elderly care?

Could technologies respond to the challenges associated with the ageing European population? While future assistive technologies for elderly care are promising, current technologies are not used to their full potential. Effective change should target all social groups, not only the elderly. ‘One-size-fits-all’ approaches for technology and policy are not well suited to elderly care because everyone has different abilities and individual circumstances. The establishment of a defined...


What if Libra disrupted the financial system?

Facebook’s envisaged cryptocurrency project Libra may enable a way of more connected, digital banking. However, it also triggered a debate around the added value of cryptocurrencies. What would change for banks, businesses and consumers with the new digital currency? Source: © European Union - EP


What if we didn't need cows for our beef?

With the help of cells from a single cow, scientists can produce 175 million hamburgers. When fully commercialised, this type of technology will greatly impact the way we produce and consume meat. It will allow us to feed a world of over 10 billion people in a sustainable way, without necessarily drastically changing the diets. Source: © European Union - EP


What if policy anticipated advances in science and technology?

What if blockchain revolutionised voting? What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you? And what if we genetically engineered an entire species? Through its monthly “what-if” publications, the European Parliament’s Scientific Foresight Unit draws the attention of Members of the Parliament to new and interesting developments in the fields of science and technology. Source: © European Union - EP


What if we could fight drug addiction with digital technology?

Drug addiction is one of the greatest problems facing European public health authorities. Advances in drug addiction research have focused mostly on the neurobiological aspects of the disease, but now promising new technologies are enhancing our ability to understand and treat drug addiction. A wide range of health tools for drug addiction recovery is available on the internet: information and education websites; assessment and psychotherapeutic software; comprehensive self-help programmes;...


What if you could swab, upload and unlock your future for €50?

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Today, a large amount of genetic data are available, involving millions of people. This wealth of information available to researchers is allowing them to create a polygenic risk score based on the DNA test of an individual. This predicts a person’s chance of getting a disease, his or...