• "It became apparent after two years-worth of numerous discussions with a variety of stakeholders, that reopening the “old” OTA would leave little, if any, opportunities to invoke contemporary applications critical to 21st century governing: decentralized expertise (tapping the knowledge of scientists across the nation) and citizen engagement, to name but two."
  • "A new report from the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars defines the criteria for a new technology assessment function in the United States. The report, Reinventing Technology Assessment: A 21st Century Model, emphasizes the need to incorporate citizen-participation methods to complement expert analysis. Government policymakers, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and citizens need such analysis to capably navigate the technology-intensive world in which we now live."
  • "[T]his year's pollen counts, especially in the southeast, are through the roof, and… a new study from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) suggests allergies will likely become even more fierce if the planet continues to heat up. Researchers found that not only is spring coming earlier, making for a longer allergy season, but warmer weather allows hickory and oak, two of the most allergenic tree species, to thrive almost everywhere in the US. Another factor: Some plants, such as ragweed, are actually making more pollen as the environment changes. "As trees that use the wind to pollinate undergo stress from heat or lack of water, they begin to produce more pollen to compensate," explained NWF climate scientist Amanda Staudt. Scientists have already observed this phenomenon in cities, where C02 levels are an average of 30 percent higher than in suburbs and rural areas. "Cities are where we’re seeing increased pollen production," explains Demain.
  • "No matter what it looks like, a handmade map offers several advantages over a road atlas or the directions you get from Google…. The crucial advantage of the handmade map is that it is designed for a particular person confronting a particular task… A proper atlas must include every street name, not just the names of the streets you're looking for. By comparison, the minimal amount of information [on a hand-drawn map] makes for a map that's easier to use than one that's cluttered with detail…. Homemade maps also play with scale in fascinating ways:" by magnifying unfamiliar areas or tricky places, they can distort scale to increase comprehension…. Handmade maps also tend toward straight lines and right angles, a phenomenon spatial psychologists refer to as "rectilinear normalization."… Homemade maps often include error indicators, signs that you've taken a wrong turn or gone too far.
  • It is generally assumed that military technology that is offensive rather than defensive in nature leads to shorter wars. Yet, a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg shows that this assumption is not correct.