Ways to democratize knowledge

In theory (but not in practice), BigThink offers people like me (or, even more interesting, people completely unlike me) who have thought long and hard about particular problems a chance to share their ideas with a global community via the razzle-dazzle of digital video. Imagine discovering a treatise on climate change from a bloke in the Orkney Islands or an exposition on the digital divide from an Argentinean gaucho. This would be an amazing thing, not only because it would be another example of democratization of the media (on YouTube virtually everyone can be a movie producer!). It would represent the democratization of expert opinion. No longer would we be constrained to seeking the counsel of privileged egg heads and talking heads; now we could access the experience and insight of underprivileged local experts, whose hard-earned knowledge would help us (more than any Apple product) to think different.

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
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First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
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New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.


Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
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