Introductory Essay - Engaging in science anticipation outside of ideological frameworks
Download PDF
Introductory Essay - Engaging in science anticipation outside of ideological frameworks
Use the future to build the present
Introductory Essay - Engaging in science anticipation outside of ideological frameworks
Comment
Stakeholder Type
5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL
5.5SyntheticBiology5.4Science ofthe Originsof Life5.3FutureEconomics5.2Future ofEducation5.1ComplexSystemsScience4.4Democracy-affirming Technologies4.1Science-basedDiplomacy4.2Advances inScience Diplomacy4.3Digital Technologiesand Conflict3.7InfectiousDiseases3.6Solar RadiationModification3.5OceanStewardship3.4SpaceResources3.3Future FoodSystems3.2WorldSimulation3.1Decarbonisation2.6FutureTherapeutics2.5Organoids2.4ConsciousnessAugmentation2.3RadicalHealthExtension2.2HumanApplicationsof GeneticEngineering2.1CognitiveEnhancement1.6CollectiveIntelligence1.5AugmentedReality1.4BiologicalComputing1.3Brain-inspiredComputing1.2QuantumTechnologies1.1AdvancedAIHIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIAL

Introductory Essay:

Engaging in science anticipation outside of ideological frameworks

    The rapid advancement of science and technology is having profound consequences, fundamentally altering who we are, and the way we live and interact with each other and our environment.

    It is a two-edged sword, however. While science and technology contribute to a better world, they are also linked to some of today's biggest global challenges --- anthropogenic climate change, for example. It is therefore vital that we anticipate what is cooking in the laboratories right now if we want to ensure that as many people as possible on this planet will benefit from emerging technologies without having to also suffer further adverse societal and environmental consequences. But this anticipation needs to happen in an inclusive and transparent manner if we are to engender societal trust in the pursuit of science and its benefits.

    The GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar is designed to do just that. It was conceived as a neutral, science-based, expert-informed platform for presenting possible advances and breakthroughs in selected areas of science and technology at 5, 10 and 25 years. In that sense, its purpose is neither to predict the future nor to present a hypothetical vision of a desired society towards which humanity should strive. Rather, it provides insights about what is being developed by researchers and innovators worldwide and provides the elements to initiate debates about opportunities over the next two decades or so.

    The Radar is set up to function as a neutral broker and convener between the different disciplines, sectors and communities involved in science and technology. This is a necessary pre-condition for grounded discussions about the implications of these advances on individuals, society and the planet. In the spirit of a renewed multilateralism, such discussions should involve all communities concerned, including scientists, citizens, diplomats and the private sector. Our science anticipation is a starting point. The debates and opportunities sections in the radar provide the first bridges into the broader territories where those advances can be contextualised and decisions taken.

    The importance of science anticipation in light of geopolitical tensions

    All this is taking place against the backdrop of rising geopolitical tensions and armed conflicts in Europe and worldwide. This could call into question whether one should engage in science anticipation, but we believe that it is now more important than ever that we envisage science anticipation as an open, non-partisan and fact-based instrument to bolster this dialogue at international level.

    It is our conviction that humanity has the capacity to deal with today's challenges while keeping an eye on potential future issues. The radar, as an overview of what is underway in research worldwide in selected areas of natural sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and the humanities, opens a space where informed and impactful conversations about science trends and their implications can start without endorsement or geopolitical influence.

    Conclusion

    We are certain that the world will continue its rapid change in the coming years --- and science and technology will certainly be among the drivers of change. The GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar uses science anticipation as a means of preparing us for the changes to come. Our ambition is to develop it as a dynamic, living tool: as it matures, we will further grow the community of contributors, including members of scientific communities in parts of the world and sectors of society that are still under-represented. This second edition of the radar already led to a significant increase in the number of contributing researchers and emerging topics covered. The integration of knowledge foundations is a further step to include the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and engineering sciences that are transversal and foundational to the broad areas covered. The radar will continuously be updated and expanded through interactions with scientists of all regions and of all backgrounds, from the public and the private sector, in a spirit of true open science.