• CHINA WATCHHow a Fellow of Germany’s Humboldt Foundation Joined China's Military Commission

    By Sandra Petersmann, Esther Felden, Naomi Conrad

    Germany’s Humboldt Research Fellowships are very popular with visiting Chinese scientists. Back in China, some of them go on to do research for the Chinese military. According to the Max Planck Society, “around one-third” of all scientific management positions in China today are held by people who were trained in Germany.

  • CHINA WATCHEuropean Academics Helping China's Military

    By Naomi Conrad, Esther Felden, and Sandra Petersmann

    European researchers have cooperated with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The NUDT’s purpose is to “Strengthen the Armed Forces and the Nation.” An investigation by 10 European news outlets has found nearly 3,000 scientific publications by researchers affiliated with European universities and their counterparts at military-linked institutions in China — most notably the NUDT.

  • CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIESStrengthen Advanced Manufacturing for Critical and Emerging Technologies

    NIST has awarded a total of $2.08 million to seven organizations in six states to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen U.S. innovation and productivity. Each award will fund projects for up to 18 months to address national priorities such as manufacturing of critical infrastructure, communication, and transformative approaches and technologies in construction.

  • BIORISKSGain-of-Function Studies Need Stricter Guidance: Researchers

    Researchers and biosecurity specialists are calling on the U.S. government to issue clearer guidance about experiments the government might fund which would make pathogens more transmissible or deadly.

  • BIORISKSAs Science Evolves, Policy Framework Needs to as Well

    In late February, the NIH and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy asked the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity NSABB to make swift progress on its long-overdue review. The panel plans to draft a report outlining its recommendations by the end of the year.

  • ARGUMENT: AI & WMDsArtificial Intelligence and Chemical and Biological Weapons

    A recent article in Nature offers a disturbing look at the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of chemical and biological weapons. “Anyone unfamiliar with recent innovations in the use of AI to model new drugs will be unpleasantly surprised,” Paul Rosenzweig writes. “The benefits of these innovations are clear. Unfortunately, the possibilities for malicious uses are also becoming clear.”

  • OUTBREAKSCDC Launches New Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics

    New center will enhance capability for timely, effective decision-making to improve outbreak response using data, models, and analytics

  • R&DFederal Research Funding Has Positive “Ripple Effects”

    Federal funding for biomedical research has a “ripple effect” of stimulating new studies even beyond the original purposes of a grant and may provide unexpected benefits.

  • EXPERTISEPolitics and Expertise: How to Use Science in a Democratic Society

    By Zeynep Pamuk

    The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of scientific advice to modern policymaking. But how can the use of expertise in politics be aligned with the needs and values of the public? The solution: a new model for the relationship between science and democracy.

  • PLANETARY SECURITYUn-Earthing Planetary Defense

    This summer, NASA will launch its first mission to a metallic asteroid, 16 Psyche, located in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Previous missions have explored rocky and icy asteroids, but Psyche’s composition is widely believed to consist of a considerable amount of metal. Studying extraterrestrial bodies could help defend Earth from future impact threats.

  • INFECTIONSSafely Studying Dangerous Infections Just Got a Lot Easier

    To combat a pandemic, science needs to move quickly. An extremely fast new 3D imaging method can show how cells respond to infection and to possible treatments.

  • MISINFORMATIONGetting Better at Telling Misinformation from Reliable Expert Consensus

    By Diane Nazaroff

    Psychology researchers have shown how to better communicate key messages and avoid misinformation.

  • FORECASTINGNobody Saw It Coming: How Scenarios Can Help Us Prepare for the Future in an Uncertain World

    By Mann Virdee and Megan Hughes

    The problem with planning for the future is that it is fundamentally uncertain, and predictions often fall flat when compared with reality. This gap—between the limits of what we can know about the future and the need to plan for it—has led to the development of a variety of tools for futures thinking.

  • DISEASE FORECASRSCompetition and Collaboration: Understanding Interacting Epidemics Can Unlock Better Disease Forecasts

    By Andrey Lokhov

    A new algorithm increases scientists’ abilities to accurately model mutually dependent spreading processes, from virus outbreaks to disinformation on social media.

  • PANDEMICSThe Battle of the SARS-CoV-2 Variants

    In order to fight the pandemic in the long term, it is crucial to understand why one variant prevails over another. A new study has provided important answers by comparing the spread and transmission of different emerging variants in parallel.