World at a Crossroads
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World at a Crossroads
world problems & solutions
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Here's what robots mean for the future of work

Here's what robots mean for the future of work | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
A look at the possible impact of automation on robots on our working lives - and our free time.
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These are the world's most innovative cities

These are the world's most innovative cities | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Affordable housing, vibrant culture, an overflow of talent – from Berlin to Boston, here are the cities where start-ups thrive.
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World’s largest money manager to CEOs: You must do good for society

World’s largest money manager to CEOs: You must do good for society | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
More than 1,000 global CEOs received a letter Tuesday from one of the world's most influential money managers with a pointed message: Simply posting good financial returns is no longer enough. You must have a positive impact on society, too.

In his annual letter to CEOs sent Tuesday, Laurence Fink, the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, which manages nearly $6.3 trillion in investments, put CEOs on high alert that they would be expected to answer questions about their long-term strategy, how they plan to use savings from the tax reform law, what role they play in their communities and whether they are creating a diverse workforce that is being retrained for opportunities in a more automated future.

"Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose," Fink wrote in his letter, which was first reported by the New York Times. "To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society."
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Political corruption scandals may be predicted by network science

Political corruption scandals may be predicted by network science | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
According to the World Bank, corruption scandals siphon more than $2 trillion per year from the global economy, making corruption one of the major causes of slow economic growth and socioeconomic inequality. Now in a new study, researchers have demonstrated that it may be possible to predict who will play a role in future scandals by modeling current scandals using networks. The results may provide a tool for detecting corruptive practices and reducing the high cost of corruption to society.

The researchers, led by Matjaž Perc at the University of Maribor in Slovenia and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna in Austria, along with Haroldo V. Ribeiro from the University of Maringá and coauthors from two other universities in Brazil, have published a paper on their analysis of political corruption using network science in a recent issue of the Journal of Complex Networks.
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Coping with climate stress in Antarctica

Coping with climate stress in Antarctica | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Some Antarctic fish living in the planet's coldest waters are able to cope with the stress of rising carbon dioxide levels the ocean. They can even tolerate slightly warmer waters. But they can't deal with both climate change stressors at the same time, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.
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G.O.P. to Use Children’s Health Insurance as Lure for Averting Shutdown

G.O.P. to Use Children’s Health Insurance as Lure for Averting Shutdown | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
With no immigration deal in sight, Republicans are eyeing a stopgap bill to keep the government open past Friday, sweetening it with an extension of the child health program.
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Bright lights reveal the 'dark' fleet

Bright lights reveal the 'dark' fleet | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Global Fishing Watch partners with NOAA to improve understanding of fishing vessel detection methods. By matching satellite-based night-time imagery data with Vessel Monitoring System data, the partners are improving the satellite-based tools and expanding vessel monitoring capabilities while creating a more complete picture of fishing activity in Indonesia.
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Jet stream changes since 1960s linked to more extreme weather

Jet stream changes since 1960s linked to more extreme weather | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Increased fluctuations in the path of the North Atlantic jet stream since the 1960s coincide with more extreme weather events in Europe such as heat waves, wildfires and flooding. The new research published in Nature Communications is the first reconstruction of historical changes in the North Atlantic jet stream prior to the 20th century. By using tree rings, the researchers developed a historical look at the position of the North Atlantic jet back to 1725.
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The Dutch plan to build the world's biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island

The Dutch plan to build the world's biggest wind farm, complete with a large floating island | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
If all goes according to plan, the farm will deliver 30 gigawatts of power to the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and later Belgium, Germany, and Denmark.
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Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices

Grocery store program improves farmers' adoption of environmental practices | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
In one of the first analyses of a company-led sustainability program in the food and agriculture space, Stanford researchers found a major grocery chain fostered increased adoption of environmental practices at the farm level.
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Digital knowledge is a poor substitute for learning in the real world

Digital knowledge is a poor substitute for learning in the real world | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Today, children spend more time learning in front of a screen than they do outdoors. But does this harm their understanding of the real world and physical mechanisms?
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More #geo_engineering, please!

More #geo_engineering, please! | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
As the Earth keeps heating up, and political efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions seem feeble, the idea of “fixing” the climate by various direct measures has gained strength.
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Modern capitalism has opened a major new front for strike action – logistics

Modern capitalism has opened a major new front for strike action – logistics | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Does 21st century corporate logic contain the seeds of its own destruction?
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Why urban farming is changing the future of agriculture

Why urban farming is changing the future of agriculture | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
New technologies are allowing people to grow food in places where it was previously difficult or impossible.
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This Is an Unprecedented Kind of Oil Spill

This Is an Unprecedented Kind of Oil Spill | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
A tanker that sank off the Chinese coast was carrying “condensate,” a mix of molecules with radically different properties than crude.
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Xenoma builds smart clothing for dementia patients

Xenoma builds smart clothing for dementia patients | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Embedded in both the shirt and pants are cloth sensors that have been customized to pick up on specific inputs tailored to each item of clothing. The circuits running along the hips and legs are designed to detect motion, so professionals know when the wearer is moving. The technology in the shirt, meanwhile, is designed to monitor vital signs such as breathing, while an additional pair of ports on the sternum can be connected to an ECG, should it be required.
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AI 'scientist' finds that toothpaste ingredient may help fight drug-resistant malaria

AI 'scientist' finds that toothpaste ingredient may help fight drug-resistant malaria | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
An ingredient commonly found in toothpaste could be employed as an anti-malarial drug against strains of malaria parasite that have grown resistant to one of the currently-used drugs. This discovery, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, was aided by Eve, an artificially-intelligent 'robot scientist'.

When a mosquito infected with malaria parasites bites someone, it transfers the parasites into their bloodstream via its saliva. These parasites work their way into the liver, where they mature and reproduce. After a few days, the parasites leave the liver and hijack red blood cells, where they continue to multiply, spreading around the body and causing symptoms, including potentially life-threatening complications.
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Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest

Britain's Next Megaproject: A Coast-to-Coast Forest | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
The plan is for 50 million new trees to repopulate one of the least wooded parts of the country—and offer a natural escape from several cities in the north.
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The price of digital citizenship and the forfeit of autonomy

The price of digital citizenship and the forfeit of autonomy | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
According to the most recent projections, the digital giants Facebook and Google are expected to have scooped up half of global digital advertisement revenues in 2017.
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The economic effects of restricting immigration – lessons from US history

The economic effects of restricting immigration – lessons from US history | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
The issue of immigration – and whether or not to restrict it – is hotly debated. Promising stricter immigration laws was an important pillar of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign – and it remains one of the Trump administration’s priorities to “protect” US workers and taxpayers.

This idea reflects the argument that immigrants reduce job opportunities for US workers and cost taxpayers extra money to provide for housing and social assistance. But is this really the case? Understanding whether stricter immigration laws would benefit native workers, through better employment opportunities, less competition for jobs and a lower tax burden is a central research question for labour economists interested in evaluating the economic effects of immigration.

We explored this issue in a recent paper that examined how immigration restrictions influenced the US economy in the 1920s. Indeed, the debate on imposing immigration restrictions to prevent entry of certain ethnic groups into the US is not a new one. In the 1920s, the US changed its open door policy for European immigrants by introducing immigration quotas based on national origins.

Read More: Is our sense of community weakened by increased immigration?
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The Maasai: Squeezed Between Conservation and Capitalism

The Maasai: Squeezed Between Conservation and Capitalism | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Respecting the rights and lands of indigenous groups is the right thing to do, and according to some reports, can be an effective and affordable way of preserving natural habitats and even fighting climate change. They should be included in the conservation equation.
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In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance

In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs. So reports a new study published today in the journal Ecosphere.
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New gene therapy gives hope to people born with inherited eye disorder

New gene therapy gives hope to people born with inherited eye disorder | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
The first successful gene therapy for an inherited form of blindness was recently reviewed by an exper
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These are the fruits and vegetables we waste the most

These are the fruits and vegetables we waste the most | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Three researchers from Karlstad University in Sweden have directly measured the amount of wastage in the produce section of three supermarkets. They have also calculated the climate impact and financial costs of the wastage.
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Three things that will shape the economy in 2018

Three things that will shape the economy in 2018 | World at a Crossroads | Scoop.it
Brexit, bots and jobs and bitcoin are set to dominate economics news in 2018.
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