from the world's big
What are today's big issues?
Adam Bly is the founder and editor-in-chief of Seed Magazine and the Chairman/CEO of Seed Media Group. Seed is a bi-monthly science magazine based out of New York and is distributed internationally. The magazine looks at issues located at the intersection of science and society. In 2007, Seed was nominated for two National Magazine Awards.
At 16, Bly was the youngest researcher at the National Research Council of Cancer, where he spent three years studying cell adhesion and cancer. Bly has received many international prizes, including being selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007, and has also received the Jubilee Medal. Bly lives in New York City.
Question: What are today's big issues?
Adam Bly: I think that the shift from symmetry to asymmetry in warfare is a major transformational force. I think that the rise of China; and not simply quantitatively the rise of China, but trying to understand and predict today how China will exercise what China’s soft powers will be and how they’ll exercise those soft powers in the world; to envision China having a big military, big economy, simply big is a . . . is a story that I think has been told already, and by now people in power should have dealt with that. It will always be bigger. By trying to really understand how a Chinese way of thinking will have softer influences on the way we think about things; the way we interact with each other I think is sort of the central question right now. It’s what China will contribute to the world through its rise. China has been lacking for confidence for many, many, many years, and now is struggling with that confidence that necessarily has to come with economic strength, and military strength, and so forth. And how it uses that, and how it kind of achieves its goals of a harmonious society while at the same time becoming a world player is something that I’m particularly interested in. And if you think about sort of one weak signal there being sort of the new ties between China and Africa I think is really, really interesting stuff. China is using science as a geopolitical tool, for example. That’s kind of interesting. And so creating scientific ties between their researchers and other researchers in different parts of the world before, at the nation state level, there’s an official, you know, geopolitical tie. And so exporting science is sort of a fascinating 21st century notion of diplomacy that China is experimenting with. The values of society in China I think is . . . So I think this is a central, you know, sort of global theme. I think that . . . I think that we are starting to reach the point where climate change has achieved acceptance as a global issue . . . that’s on the agenda. It is fodder for presidential candidates. You need to have a policy. It’s achieved the kind of acceptance as an issue. I think that many have also achieved a great deal in introducing it as something of importance to all factors of society . . . facets of society from, you know, evangelical Christians, to moms, to world leaders, to CEOs of companies who see green as . . . as an engine for economic growth and ____________. So I think it’s achieved the kind of widespread penetration in society very effectively in the last couple of years. And so I think this is now where I think climate change has reached a point where it is quite simply, I think, about the next president of the United States; and whether or not that next president has the courage and vision to advance, you know, the policy, the speech. And I think this is as much about oratory as it is about action. I mean it’s of course about action, but it is also about laying out what it means to be sort of an energy independent nation. And I think that we’re not gonna see, you know, China take the steps it should take, it must take without the United States taking the steps it must take and it should take. And so I think this is simply but very importantly about electing the right leader – Democrat or Republican – who very much recognizes the importance of the issue, has a clear strategy, and can restore U.S. leadership in this important, you know, kind of global topic. So I think that . . . I think that’s where that needs to go. And I think if I was to pick out maybe one other kind of weak signal, I think it would . . . I think it would most certainly be the incorporation of science into larger or more obviously large ministries and sort of decisions that need to be made by leaders as happening now with regularity. And science is a cornerstone of the agenda of the World Economic Forum now. Leaders see their science advisors and science ministers as important, and as having a relationship with national security and economic policy and so forth. And so I think that the incorporation of science into the decision making apparatus of leaders globally is taking place in very many parts of the world in very different ways, but is sort of an important weak signal I think right now.
Recorded on: 10/17/07
Fighting a new kind of war and watching China's rise are prominent issues to Adam Bly.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.