Accelerating the use of the opportunities that advanced scientific explorations bring to the world might seem straightforward.
On the contrary, it is very difficult.
First, success in this endeavour depends on the ability to access, scout and follow year by year what is already cooking in the laboratories. The acceleration of scientific development also raises sensitive issues. And since no moratorium will ever stop the spread of any disruptive technologies or their uses, we have no choice but to embrace them, despite their apparent complexity. In fact, the sooner the better — hence the need to anticipate.
To this end, the 2021 GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar, an annual report and interactive digital platform, is the first edition of a new global indicator of some of the most significant laboratory advances expected within the next five, 10 and 25 years. We have developed it in partnership with the Fondation pour Genève and in collaboration with the Open Science Publisher Frontiers. This 2021 edition is scouting four areas: (1) advanced AI and the global quantum revolution; (2) new science and technology that improves human resilience; (3) ecosystem regeneration and geoengineering; and (4) the growing relevance of global science diplomacy.
- The Radar offers an open access tool to the international community and the world population to help them anticipate and tackle today's and tomorrow's challenges as concretely, accurately and quickly as possible.
- The first 2021 edition is based on the collective insights of 543 top-class scholars including 79 in Switzerland where it all started. Another 177 are from other parts of Europe; 162 are from North America; 92 are from Russia, Asia and Oceania; 22 are from Africa and the Middle East; and 11 are from South America.
- Eight seasoned scholars from philosophy, ethics, humanities and the arts kick things off by discussing three fundamental questions about the future of humanity raised by the breakthroughs. We also show how citizens and media around the world currently address these questions and breakthroughs.
Second, accelerating the use of the opportunities offered by these science breakthroughs requires us to organise the complex relationships and interactions between scientists, politicians, entrepreneurs and citizens, whose agendas, mindsets, experiences and responsibilities are all very different, as demonstrated by the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, the 2021 GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar serves as a trigger for opening the debate on what to do with these science breakthroughs. 16 topics coming out the radar will be discussed at our first annual Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation Summit organised from October 7 to October 9 for hundreds of scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organisations and citizens worldwide interested in developing and funding partnerships, projects and initiatives.
We are also opening the same consultation for everybody to join our efforts through our GESDA Digital Interactive Global Sounding Board, the third tool our Foundation is launching in October 2021.
Based on the results of the Summit and the worldwide consultation, the GESDA Foundation will produce a second edition of this Radar and of the Anticipation Summit in August 2022.
By doing so, we fulfil the vision of GESDA’s founders, the Swiss and Geneva governments, which decided to create our not-for-profit foundation to serve as an honest broker of debate and collaboration within the worlds of science and politics, leveraging International Geneva and Switzerland as a neutral and impactful hub of global governance, multilateralism and science diplomacy.
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chair of the GESDA Board
Patrick Aebischer, Vice-Chairman, GESDA
Geneva - Switzerland - October 2021