Issues: Emerging technologies

Emerging technologies

SGR produces a range of resources on the issue of 'Emerging technologies'. This covers a wide range of new and controversial technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking), artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, climate/ geo-engineering, genetically-modified organisms and synthetic biology, and nanotechnologies. An explicit concern is the adequate application of the precautionary principle, and the possible alternatives to emerging technologies, including 'appropriate' technology and non-technological solutions such economic, political or social change.

Prof Noel Sharkey, Sheffield University, outlines the disturbing trends in military robotics, including armed drones.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 40, autumn 2011 (published online: 5 January 2012)

 

Dr Joanna Haigh, Imperial College London, outlines the range of options currently being investigated by researchers and technologists to modify the climate system to try to prevent dangerous climate change – but finds that there are no ‘magic bullets’ here.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 40, autumn 2011 (published online 14 December 2011)
 

Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lancaster University, argues that when it comes to new technologies, technical risk assessment is not enough.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 40, autumn 2011 (published online 6 December 2011)
 

Presentation by Dr Joanna Haigh, Imperial College London at the SGR conference, Emerging technologies: are the risks being neglected? on 21 May 2011
 

Presentation by Dr Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lancaster University, at the SGR conference, Emerging technologies: are the risks being neglected? on 21 May 2011
 

Dr Helen Wallace, GeneWatch, highlights the failure of the biotech economy and argues that decisions on R&D investments should be made more democratic and accountable.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 39, winter 2011 (published online 4 March 2011)
 

Michael Reinsborough asks whether synthetic biologists are rushing ahead with development of associated technologies before the science is properly understood.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 39, winter 2011 (published online 4 March 2011)
 

David Hookes, SGR, explores the ethical and legal implications of the growing use of armed, unmanned planes in the 'war against terrorism'.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 39, winter 2011

 

The detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology

SGR report by Chris Langley and Stuart Parkinson; October 2009

It is no secret that links between the commercial sectors and science and technology are increasing. Many policy-makers, business leaders and members of the science community argue that this is positive for both science and society. But there is growing evidence that the science commercialisation agenda brings with it a wide range of detrimental effects, including bias, conflicts of interest, a narrowing of the research agenda, and misrepresentation of research results. This report takes an in-depth look at the evidence for these effects across five sectors: pharmaceuticals; tobacco; military/defence; oil and gas; and biotechnology. Its findings make disturbing reading for all concerned about the positive role of science and technology in our society.
 

 

GM potatoes are being trialled at a site in Cambridgeshire, with more planned. Eva Novotny explains why we should be on our guard.

Article from SGR Newsletter no. 34, summer 2007