Needed: Regulatory Systems that Adapt to Change
How can governments better assess the risks of new technologies? And why was Japan so stringent on earthquake regulations and not on nuclear energy?
What's the Latest Development?
Kenneth Oye, an expert in the way governments assess the potential risks posed by new technologies, promotes dialog between policymakers, scientists and other scholars on the best ways of regulating technologies such as synthetic biology and ubiquitous computing. He stresses that government officials should make regulatory systems that are designed to incorporate advances in knowledge.
What's the Big Idea?
Here's an example of why this is important. Participants in a synthetic biology workshop examined two versions of a bug designed to serve as an arsenic detector in groundwater in South Asia. One used a standard E. coli strain, and the other a genetically re-engineered “rE. coli”. “Everyone understood that the basic idea (of the genetic engineering) is to make the bug more exotic, to limit the likelihood of gene flow and make it safer. But the weirder the bug is, the more stringent the regulatory hurdles. The mismatch between regulatory templates and management of the bug was obvious.”
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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