Will robots free people from slavery?

Even if automation makes human trafficking economically inefficient, that alone won't end this unethical practice.

  • Robotic automation may one day make slavery economically inefficient, but automation does not spring forth fully formed.
  • An interim period of piecemeal coverage may leave many at-risk, low-skilled workers in danger of exploitation.
  • Nor can automation sate the political and social motives for slavery found in some societies.
Keep reading Show less

Academic freedom: What it is, what it isn’t and why there’s confusion

Academics are often attacked for having the audacity to pursue their research wherever it leads. But engaging with difficult, challenging ideas is a large part of what academia is about.

  • Academic expression is neither free expression nor political, though it is connected to both. Because of this misunderstanding, academic expression is often attacked, not because of the quality of scholars' ideas, but because of scholars' audacity in sharing them.
  • The Scholars at Risk network is working to ensure that academics of all stripes have the academic freedom they need to pursue their work. In this video, Robert Quinn stresses that this is not a left/right issue, nor is it something that's only happening halfway across the world, and he explains why it's so important to defend academic freedom.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less
  • The image of cryptocurrency tends to focus on privilege and flaunted wealth.
  • Financial institutions dismiss Bitcoin as a fad, while exploiting the benefits of the underlying technology for themselves.
  • But the story in developing countries paints a different picture – one of vast potential.
Keep reading Show less

Swedish scientist advocates eating humans to combat climate change

A scientist in Sweden makes a controversial presentation at a future of food conference.

  • A behavioral scientist from Sweden thinks cannibalism of corpses will become necessary due to effects of climate change.
  • He made the controversial presentation to Swedish TV during a "Future of Food" conference in Stockholm.
  • The scientist acknowledges the many taboos this idea would have to overcome.
Keep reading Show less

Climate change is here. It's time to begin "managed retreats" according to scholars.

Humans hate to surrender, but this clearly makes good sense.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • In a new Science article, three academics make the case for managed retreat due to climate change.
  • Beginning the process now instead of waiting until it's too late will save money and lives.
  • Indonesia is moving its capital from Jakarta to Borneo as the former city is sinking.
Keep reading Show less