Show cover of European Parliament - EPRS Science and Technology podcasts

European Parliament - EPRS Science and Technology podcasts

Listen to a selection of podcasts reporting on the latest science and technology developments, looking into the impact they will have on our lives and capturing their policy implications.

Tracks

What if the problem with cars was not their method of propulsion?
The European automotive industry is striving to adapt to market changes driven by the dual green and digital transition. Electrification has become the main strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, especially in urban traffic. At the same time, the average size and weight of cars have greatly increased. Big electric cars are the trend, but are they really the solution? Could better planning and optimisation of resources help? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:27 3/8/24
Analysis exploring risks and opportunities linked to the use of collaborative industrial robots in Europe
Robot applications, including 'collaborative robots' - cobots - designed to collaborate with humans, are in high demand, with sales and installation figures constantly on the rise. However, it is necessary to analyse the risks and opportunities of this technology and its possible social, economic, and ethical impacts. The following study presents the current state of collaborative robotics, its benefits, and its disadvantages, with a special emphasis on key aspects such as safety. It presents possible policy options to enable the EU to remain at the forefront of this technology by taking advantage of the opportunities and avoiding the potential risks. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
02:47 2/2/24
What if generative artificial intelligence became conscious?
Generative artificial intelligence applications, such as ChatGPT, are powered through complex learning processes by comprehensive datasets of – potentially dubious – human-created content. There are concerns that such tools could develop consciousness and spark emergent behaviour that is, by definition, unpredictable and therefore potentially unsafe. Do these concerns point to a need to look again at the relevant legislation? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:17 1/12/24
What if the EU were energy independent?
The EU depends on imported fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal) for about 56 % of its energy needs (gross energy consumption), which in 2021 represented an energy bill of around EUR 300 billion. The domestic production of renewable energy sources has increased significantly in recent years to 22 % of total demand. The European Union can aspire to achieve energy independence through the deployment of existing and emerging technologies. Electrification, renewables and energy storage could reduce EU's reliance on conventional fossil fuels. What are the developments, expectations, concerns and societal implications associated with these technologies? What initiatives and policies can lead to a resilient EU energy system by anticipating impacts? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:44 12/8/23
What if Europe ran out of water?
Droughts and water scarcity are no longer rare or extreme events in Europe. About 20 % of the European territory and 30 % of Europeans are affected by water stress, especially in Southern Europe but also around some river basins in Western and Central Europe. And climate change will only make matters worse, increasing the frequency of extreme events and making the south even drier. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTubeSource: © European Union - EP
03:48 11/17/23
What if algorithms decided what we should eat by looking at our DNA?
Diets tailored to our individual characteristics could bring about health benefits but require data on our most personal features, such as our DNA. The promises are many, but so are open questions about the interactions between genes, nutrients, environment and health, and the role of socioeconomic factors behind our food choices. Governance of precision nutrition advice, services and products will include various legislation and policies because of its position between lifestyle and health, or food and medicine. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:00 10/13/23
Splinternets': Addressing the renewed debate on internet fragmentation
Recent events have multiplied concerns about potential fragmentation of the internet into a multitude of non-interoperable and disconnected 'splinternets'. Composed of thousands of compatible autonomous systems, the internet is by definition technically divided. Yet, the internet was also designed to be an open and global technical infrastructure. The unity and openness of the internet appear to be under great pressure from political, commercial and technological developments. This report explores the implications of the EU's recent policies in this field as well as the opportunities and challenges for EU Member States and institutions in addressing internet fragmentation. It underlines how recent EU legislative proposals – on the digital services act, digital markets act, artificial intelligence act, and NIS 2 Directive – could help to address patterns of fragmentation, but also have limitations and potentially unintended consequences. Four possible strategies emerge: stay with the status quo, embrace fragmentation, resist patterns of divergence, or frame discussions as a matter of fundamental rights. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:40 9/29/23
What if biosensors could help treat rare diseases?
Most rare diseases are incurable. Biosensors are a technology that, driven by continuous advances in artificial intelligence, can help disease detection, lower the cost of novel therapies, replace placebo groups in clinical trials and foster patient-centred, personalised (e)-medicine. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:48 9/8/23
What if we could make nuclear fusion work?
To reach the Paris Agreement objective of keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C, the EU must consider every possible technology to decarbonise its energy production. Nuclear fusion is the process that powers our sun and we can recreate it on Earth. However, even if we overcome the considerable engineering challenges of designing a fusion power plant, there are hard constraints to upscaling fusion power. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:45 7/7/23
What if open strategic autonomy could break the cycle of recurring crises?
Open strategic autonomy ensures the capacity to cope alone if necessary but without ruling out cooperation whenever possible. It relies on foresight to identify threats and ensures resilience by anticipating the required responses. Can the resulting preparedness also prevent crises (or dissuade others from creating them) by normalising internally situations that would else become emergencies? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:45 6/9/23
What if nature taught us to adapt to climate change?
Over the past 3.8 billion years, nature has been engineering itself to survive. It has also developed efficient and sustainable adaptation mechanisms against changing environmental conditions. To further the EU's political ambitions, could we employ biomimicry to mitigate climate change and achieve climate neutrality? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTubeSource: © European Union - EP
04:27 5/5/23
What if increased energy storage could help fix climate change?
In this podcast we explore the potential ecological benefits of increasing our capacity to store energy, especially from renewable sources. As the availability of some renewable energy sources is variable and intermittent, devising new energy storage capacities could ensure energy security and reliability and help the EU in its efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTubeSource: © European Union - EP
04:12 4/14/23
Towards a new EU pharmaceutical strategy
As the European Commission prepares to launch a much awaited revised EU pharmaceutical strategy, two recent studies by the European Parliament's Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) advance possible options to tackle current weaknesses in drug development and ensure access to high-quality medicines, including the creation of large-scale European biomedical infrastructure, and a series of targeted strategies to improve EU health research coordination and reprioritise areas of unmet therapeutic need. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:58 3/10/23
What if we grew plants vertically?
By 2050, an estimated two thirds of the world population will live in urban areas. Could vertical farming help feed this growing urban population sustainably by reducing the demand for agricultural land and shortening the travel distance between food production and consumption? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:23 2/10/23
Using artificial intelligence in workplace management
As AI spreads into workplaces, workers and employers are increasingly confronted with applications and software that affect labour relations. While AI systems could be introduced with the explicit aim of improving working conditions, this cannot be expected in general and evidence suggests that it may be the exception. In this podcast, we'll talk about the impacts that artificial intelligence applications may have on our workplaces and how policymakers and legislators in the EU will need to ensure that it works for and not against us. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:58 1/13/23
What if quantum technologies were to revolutionise healthcare?
Quantum technologies could be a game-changer in the digital transformation of health care. By enabling much faster and more complex data analysis, they could open the door to the accelerated discovery and development of novel therapeutics, improved diagnostics and treatments, including for rare and complex diseases, genuinely personalised medicine, and better data-driven health policy planning. However, as is also the case in other sectors, quantum technologies come with risks, particularly to cybersecurity and data privacy, as well as economics, trade, and global competition. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:12 12/9/22
What if a 'Trojan horse' strategy could help address antimicrobial resistance?
Antimicrobial-resistant infections are predicted to become the second biggest cause of death worldwide by 2050. Despite increasing investment in the development of new antimicrobials, awareness campaigns on antimicrobial misuse and abuse, and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance in animals, humans and the environment, antimicrobial resistance continues to grow and the last three decades have not seen even one novel antimicrobial class reach the market. Could the answer lie in a 'Trojan horse' strategy to disrupt a natural physiological process common to all bacteria? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:17 11/18/22
What if everyone spoke the same language?
One language disappears every two weeks, and up to 90 % of existing languages could be gone by the turn of the century. Globalisation, social and economic pressures and political options can determine whether a language survives. Multilingualism is a cornerstone of the European project, with 24 official and 60 minority languages. In a digital era, ensuring digital language equality can help preserve linguistic diversity. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
05:08 10/14/22
What if AI could make the agri-food sector more resilient?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been under the limelight of so strong political and social debate that its suitability for its main original purpose of improving supply chain efficiency may come up as a surprise; but, what if, under the actual situation of stress artificial intelligence really can provide solutions for strategic sectors significantly improving their capacity to cope with pressure? More specifically, can the agri-food sector benefit from this technology to the extent of compensating for the shortages being broadly foreseen? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
05:07 9/30/22
What if microbial protein could help reverse climate change?
Demographic, socio-political and economic pressures have made eating meat an unsustainable practice for the long term. However, meat substitutes have proved unpopular, owing to social norms and a lack of trust; some alternatives also contribute heavily to climate change. Could microbial protein be a sustainable alternative to meat that not only solves these multidimensional pressures but also contributes actively to reversing climate change? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:42 9/9/22
What if we sequenced all human genomes?
The rapid growth of genetic databases worldwide, coupled with fast-decreasing costs and increased technological speed, has raised the possibility of every human genome on Earth being sequenced within this century. This brings to the forefront ethical and legal questions on data privacy and ownership. While a world genomic database would revolutionise preventive medicine and research, new forms of surveillance, discrimination and power imbalances could emerge. The global interplay between the individual, the state and private individuals could shift, requiring modern and flexible legislation to protect the rights of the individual. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
05:37 7/1/22
What if we built cities on water?
Rising sea levels place coastal cities under constant threat. An estimated 250 million people currently live on land below projected annual flood levels, often in coastal cities such as London, Lagos, Mumbai or Shanghai; and this number may rise to 630 million by the end of the century. An additional 318 million people have been displaced since 2018, due to climate disasters. Could it be that, instead of humankind fleeing from water, building on it could serve as a better long-term solution? What would the creation of entire water cities entail for societies, economies and the environment? What if populations could live on water instead of facing displacement and migration? - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
05:13 6/3/22
Responding better to future pandemics
Managing the risks of the Covid-19 pandemic remains a challenge. While EU vaccination rates have reached three quarters of the population, new SARS-CoV-2 variants keep emerging in the EU. Although these variants appear to be generally less severe, they still pose challenges to health systems. The implementation of a globally effective vaccine strategy remains key to enhancing Europe's resilience. If measures are successful, it is expected that SARS-CoV-19 – while still present – will enter a stage of seasonality, characterised by higher case numbers in the winter months, similarly to the flu. To achieve this, rethinking present surveillance and monitoring schemes, ensuring the distribution of vaccines worldwide and implementing an action plan against disinformation and misinformation could be crucial. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:16 4/29/22
What if AI regulation promoted innovation?
'Innovation' is often used as a shorthand for improved technical, economic and social processes. However, any specific innovation involves the redistribution of costs and benefits, creating winners and losers. For some, regulation of technology should be avoided in case it hinders innovation, while, for others, regulation is an essential measure to mitigate risks. However, regulation and innovation are not a zero-sum game. Debates about regulatory (in)action and its impact on innovation would benefit from greater specificity about which innovation paths are considered desirable, for whom, and how policy choices would help to achieve them. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:16 4/29/22
What if machines made fairer decisions than humans?
Automated decision-making by systems that use machine learning to dynamically improve performance are still seen as lacking the 'human perspective' and flexibility to adapt to the particular nuances of specific cases. But perhaps, as they lack the 'cunning' to hide their biases, automated systems actually make fairer decisions than do humans, when these decisions are based on data that have been properly curated. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:56 4/1/22
What if we killed all microorganisms in our bodies?
While killing all microorganisms in our bodies may seem tempting to some germaphobes, scientific evidence indicates that beneficial microorganisms (that live in nearly ubiquitous communities called microbiota) are an essential component of human health, and could form a new frontier for personalised medicine to fight non-communicable diseases and improve human health. In this podcast, we'll look at the microorganisms that live in our bodies and the incredible role they play in assuring our health. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
03:54 2/11/22
What if xenotransplantation made up for the shortage of organ donation?
Following the first successful organ transplant in 1954, this procedure has become increasingly prevalent as it has revolutionised the treatment of end-stage organ failure. Nevertheless, organ shortage remains a critical problem which could potentially be overcome with xenotransplantation, regarded a promising alternative approach. In this podcast, we'll talk about the transplantation of animal derived organs and cells into humans. A medical procedure known as xenotransplantation that could open the door to a renewable source of desperately needed organs. - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:47 1/14/22
What if hydrogen accelerated decarbonisation of European Industry?
The European Union has an ambitious climate strategy and is looking for ways to boost technologies that will make it possible. Could hydrogen and the deployment of related technology and infrastructure become a decisive factor in decarbonising specific industry sectors? In this podcast, we'll talk about hydrogen and its potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of European industry. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:53 12/10/21
What if ecolabels could nudge us to choose greener food?
The way most food is produced is harming the planet. A profound change is needed, involving all agri-food actors. As consumers, we sit at the end of the agri-food chain. Our daily dietary choices implicitly support certain food systems, production methods and types of food. What could help us make better choices? In this podcast, we'll talk about ecolabels and their potential to nudge us towards more sustainable food choices. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
06:39 11/19/21
What if novel drug delivery methods revolutionised medicine?
Nanoparticles lie at the heart of a new method for delivering medicines inside the body – and they were crucial to the success of the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines. This new drug delivery method and others could transform the way we treat disease, potentially boosting the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV, among others. Insulin and Covid-19 vaccines might even become available as pills. In this podcast, we'll look into new drug delivery methods that could simplify the way we treat diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. - Original publication on the EP Think Tank website - Subscription to our RSS feed in case your have your own RSS reader - Podcast available on Deezer, iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, YouTube Source: © European Union - EP
04:54 10/15/21

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