Use the future to build the present
Eco-Regeneration & Geo-Engineering
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Debate 3:

The Pulse of Society on Frontier Issues

Eco-Regeneration & Geo-Engineering

The scientific fields related to Eco-Regeneration and Geo-Engineering (Decarbonisation, World Simulation, Future Food Systems, Space Resources, and Ocean Stewardship) showed the strongest engagement with citizens with more than 6 million analysed posts. Relative to the other three frontier issues, the analysed scientific topics have the strongest bias towards Europe, younger age groups and lower education.

Key Facts and Insights

  • The discussion is predominantly male-driven with an over-representation in the age groups <18 years and >55 years. Scientists and researchers dominate the professions most present in the sample.

  • Young authors discuss the positive potential of decarbonisation and the energy transition but they do not discuss concrete approaches. Combining their energy with older authors’ knowledge may be key.

  • Climate change and food systems topics appear more likely to interest individuals with higher education, and “under-interest” females, both in absolute and in relative terms compared to the general population.

  • Scientists/Experts and citizens are equally interested in both climate models and earth observation topics.

  • Society appears to fear an improper allocation of funds to future-looking topics at the detriment of investing in social justice. Highlighting future topics with perceived social value (e.g. future food systems) may help.

  • Across the board, topics revolving around space travel and exploration seem to impress and fascinate the general public, signalling a useful entry point into societal debate.

  • Concerns vary significantly across regions. In Europe, Asia and South America the perceived failure of the energy transition is dominating, while dangers associated with space travel are strongly discussed in North America and concerns over future investment levels in oil and gas are more dominant in Africa.

Cloud and sentiment analysis

Each node representing one article and the linkages between dots show relations between topics in the analysed data.

Sentiment drivers

Positive sentiment is centred around:

  • Decarbonisation advances and clean energy initiatives in the form of policy decisions or private sector pledges and collaborations on cutting CO2-emmissions with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality
  • Future Food Systems primarily regarding the sustainable production of food (e.g. sustainable farming, aquacultures) and the reduction of consumer food waste
  • Ocean Stewardship, driven by an admiration of the ocean and its biodiversity as well as community-led ocean/beach cleanup initiatives)

Neutral/mixed sentiment is centred around:

  • Space Exploration and its purpose in the broader discussion around our development as a species, as well as recent scientific reports from NASA’s Perseverance Rover and the ISS

  • Reports on progress and policies in the Energy Transition and Climate Politics, especially regarding the required pace of transition and its predicted effect on businesses (mainly due to the high cost of transitioning)

Negative sentiment is centred around:

  • Climate Politics and the failure to avert extreme climate events (e.g. floods and wildfires) as well as the slow degradation of glaciers, ice sheets and ocean currents (e.g. Gulf Stream)

  • Commercial Space Travel, and the volume of investment and public subsidies poured into it vis-à-vis lacking funds to combat issues of social justice

As the insights show, the covid-19 pandemic, mRNA vaccines and announcements around Brain-Computer Interfaces strongly drove the discussions and were the main drivers for the strong regional and demographic differentiation.