eek, the Prototype features ten stories that describe what is happening in science, technology and innovation. Aside from the Nobel Prizes, the strong theme this week is trust, or more accurately deep scepticism, in digital systems around the globe. Are western democracies already in a cyberwar with Russia? News or #FakeNews?
The rapid expansion of digital technology propels massive economic activity today and has captured the public’s attention and imagination. Biotechnology is also advancing at an astonishing rate. Though much of this work is advancing with non-traditional connections to IT, data analytics, biomedical engineering and biomolecular engineering, much of this news might be outside the awareness of traditional technologists and engineers. The first two articles this week showcase the speed and power of DNA editing development and the expansion of stem cell technology. We hope you enjoy these ten best stories from this week’s science, technology and innovation headlines
Our workforce must diversify if we are to have a chance of successfully navigating all this change and adapting to disruption. Whether we are there yet, particularly in Australia, is clear from The Warren Centre’s recent research and it does not paint a good picture. We have yet to fully embrace 50% of the population by engaging more women particularly in STEM areas. One solution is for women to make their own business rules. If you are, or someone you know is, interested “starting your startup” come along to our next Entrepreneurship 101 course.
Last weekend around 100 young lawyers, IT professionals, engineers and students held a hackathon at the NSW Law Society. One of the challenge problems posed to the teams was the difficulty of the justice system to cope with the state’s highly diverse multiculturalism. Too frequently, people coming before courts need translation services to communicate effectively. Teams offered creative high-tech solutions, including on-demand digital translation.
Business method innovators are using digital technologies to change customer preferences. In San Francisco, share economy innovators Airbnb and Uber started up in 2008 and 2009. The hotels and taxi industries may never be the same again. Following the share mantra that ‘unused value is wasted value’, innovator-entrepreneurs are developing new models that extract value from underutilised capital assets.
As disruption has speedily skewed financial outcomes and increased income disparity among the digital and globalisation winners and losers, there is increasing sensitivity about inclusive innovation. Who actually benefits from the new economy, and how are financial rewards from digital efficiencies distributed? We need more modernisation of the economy, not fear of future.
Did energy and climate policy just take down another Australian Prime Minister? This week seemed like 2009 all over again as Malcolm Turnbull teetered from triumphant elation of Party Room NEG toll gate success to a dreadful realisation that far right fratricide was afoot within the Liberal Party. As at press time on Friday, Malcolm Turnbull has been taken out, and centrist Scott Morrison has defeated challenger Peter Dutton to become Australia’s next Prime Minister.
This week’s announcements on new hydrogen generation technologies combined with hydrogen fuel cell vehicle demonstrations are the perfect warm up for our third Energy Forum of 2018. Hydrogen Mobility Australia CEO Claire Johnson along with leaders from electrolysis technology supplier Siemens, industrial gas giant BOC, and electric vehicle charge share start-up Everty join a panel discussion to look at zero carbon automobile transport. Tickets are still available for the breakfast event at the University of Sydney on Thursday morning, 23 August on hydrogen and the future of transportation. We’ll see you there!
Facial recognition technology to be deployed at the Tokyo Olympics features in this week’s news feed. Like the 5G wireless demonstrations at the PyeongChang games, new technology combined with aspiration has become a regular feature at the Games. Tokyo Metropolitan Government is making a ¥40 billion (AUD$490M) demonstration of the “Hydrogen Economy” including hydrogen fuelling stations, H2 vehicles, and fuel cells applied for business and industrial uses. CSIRO CEO Larry Marshall rode in a Toyota Mirai this week fuelled by Queensland hydrogen from an Australian membrane separator. Interested to learn more? Join us at the University of Sydney on Thursday morning, August 23 for a panel discussion on hydrogen and the future of transportation.
From climate change denial to treacherous deception about health, misinformation runs wild. Prof Nick Enfield writing in the Guardian recently called for technologists and researchers to adapt their style of communication: “Scientists do not have the luxury of forgoing storytelling.…Our audiences need stories”. Here are ten stories from the week that we believe clear the dust, shine the light, and show which direction the road is turning.