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From experience with other restructured sectors of the economy, such as health care, transportation, communications, and energy, we could expect to see a significant reorganization of higher education, complete with mergers, acquisitions, new competitors, and new products and services. More generally, we may well be seeing the early stages of a global knowledge and learning industry, in which the activities of traditional academic institutions converge with other knowledge-intensive organizations, such as telecommunications, entertainment, and information service companies.
This perspective of a market-driven restructuring of higher education as an industry, although perhaps both alien and distasteful to the academy, is nevertheless an important framework for considering the future of the university. Although the postsecondary education market may have complex cross-subsidies and numerous public misconceptions, it is nevertheless very real and demanding, with the capacity to reward those who can respond to rapid change and punish those who cannot.
Universities will have to learn to cope with the competitive pressures of this marketplace while preserving the most important of their traditional values and character. In an increasingly knowledge-driven society, more and more people seek education as the hope for a better future, the key to good jobs and careers and to meaningful and fulfilling lives. The knowledge created within universities also addresses many of the most urgent needs of society, including health care, national security, economic competitiveness, and environmental protection.
Yet there is great unease on campuses. Throughout society, there is erosion in support of important university commitments, such as academic freedom, tenure, broad access, and racial diversity. The faculty feels increasing stress, fearing a decline in public support of research, sensing a loss of scholarly community with increasing disciplinary specialization, and being pulled out of the classroom and the laboratory by the demands of grantsmanship. Even the concept of higher education as a public good is being challenged, as society and its elected leaders increasingly see a college education as an individual benefit determined by values of the marketplace rather than the broader needs of a democratic society.
Many states now spend more on prisons than on public higher education. The federal government has shifted student financial aid programs from grants to loans to tax incentives, clearly designed to appeal more to the marketplace and middle-class voters than to expand access to higher education. To be sure, most colleges and universities are responding to the challenges presented by a changing world. They are evolving to serve a new age.
But most are evolving within the traditional definition of their role, according to the time-honored processes of considered reflection and consensus that have long characterized the academy. Is such glacial change responsive enough to allow the university to control its own destiny?
Or will the tidal wave of societal forces sweep over the academy, transforming the university in unforeseen and unacceptable ways while creating new institutional forms—from cyberspace universities, to global learning networks, to for-profit learning assessment corporations—that challenge our experience and our concept of the university?
The market forces unleashed by technology and driven by increasing demand for higher education are powerful. If they are allowed to dominate and reshape the higher education enterprise, we could well find ourselves facing a brave new world in which some of the most important values and traditions of the university fall by the wayside. The commercial, convenience-store model of a university—perhaps typified by the University of Phoenix see the article by Jorge Klor de Alva in this issue —may be an effective way to meet the workplace skill needs of some adults.
But it certainly is not a model that would be suitable for many of the higher purposes of the university. Although universities teach skills and convey knowledge, they also preserve and convey cultural heritage from one generation to the next, perform the research necessary to generate new knowledge, serve as constructive social critics, and provide a broad array of knowledge-based services to society.
One particular worry centers on the future of the university campus. Despite market pressures, the campus will not disappear. But the escalating costs of residential education could price this form of education beyond the range of all but the affluent, relegating much if not most of the population to low-cost and perhaps low-quality education through shopping-mall learning centers or computer-mediated distance learning. In this dark, market-driven future, the residential college campus could well become the gated community of the higher education enterprise, available only to the rich and privileged.
Yet there is a far brighter vision for the future of higher education. Of course, it would be both impractical and foolhardy to suggest one particular model for the university of the 21st century. The great and ever-increasing diversity characterizing higher education makes it clear that there will be many forms and many types of institutions serving society.
But there are a number of themes that almost certainly will factor into some part of the higher education enterprise:. Many colleges and universities already have launched major strategic efforts to understand these themes and to transform themselves into institutions that are more capable of serving a knowledge-driven society. Yet such efforts to explore new models of learning extend far beyond the traditional higher education enterprise to include an array of new participants, including publishing houses such as Harcourt-Brace, entertainment companies such as Disney, information services providers such as Anderson Consulting, and information technology corporations such as IBM.
It is clear that access to advanced learning opportunities is not only becoming a more pervasive need, but could well become a defining domestic policy issue for a knowledge-driven society. Entering the new century, there is an increasing sense that the social contract between the university and U.
The number and interests of the different stakeholders in the university have expanded and diversified, drifting apart without adequate ways to communicate and reach agreement on priorities. Political pressures to downsize federal agencies, balance the federal budget, and reduce domestic discretionary spending may significantly reduce the funding available for university-based research.
Government officials are concerned about the rapidly rising costs of operating research facilities and about the reluctance of scientists and their institutions to acknowledge that choices must be made to live with limited resources and set priorities. Although the government-university partnership has had great impact in making the U.
Pressures on faculty for success and recognition have led to major changes in the culture and governance of universities. The peer-reviewed grant system has fostered fierce competitiveness, imposed intractable work schedules, contributed to a loss of collegiality and community, and shifted faculty loyalties from the campus to disciplinary communities. Publication and grantsmanship have become a one-dimensional criterion for academic performance and prestige, to the detriment of teaching and service.
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Furthermore, although the partnership has responded well to the particular interests of academic researchers, it can be questioned whether the needs of other stakeholders, including the taxpaying public, have been adequately addressed. Today, there seems to be a shift in what society seeks from the university. Students and parents increasingly favor professional degree programs that will help students get a first job, rather than the liberal education that is capable of enriching their lives.
Politicians value productivity measures rather than academic rankings. In a sense, society is telling universities that although quality is important, cost is even more so. The marketplace seeks low-cost quality services rather than prestige. Rather than allowing the marketplace alone to redefine the nature of higher education, perhaps it is time to reconsider an earlier type of social contract between the university and society: the land-grant university model.
At that time, a social contract was developed among the federal government, the states, and public colleges and universities to assist the young nation in making this transition.
The land-grant acts were based on several commitments. First, the government provided federal lands for the support of higher education. Second, the states agreed to create public universities designed to serve regional as well as national interests. As the final element, these land-grant universities accepted new responsibilities to broaden educational opportunities for the working class while launching new programs in applied areas such as agriculture, engineering, and medicine, aimed at serving an industrial society.
Society is now undergoing a similarly profound transition, this time from an industrial to a knowledge-based society. Hence, it may be time for a new social contract aimed at providing the knowledge and the educated citizens necessary for prosperity, security, and social well-being in this new age. Perhaps it is time for a new federal act, similar to the land-grant acts of the 19th century, that will help the higher education enterprise address the needs of the 21st century.
Of course, a 21st century land-grant act is not a new concept. Some observers have recommended an industrial analog to the agricultural experiment stations of the land-grant universities. Others have suggested that in an information-driven economy, perhaps telecommunications bandwidth is the asset that could be assigned to universities, much as federal lands were a century ago.
Unfortunately, an industrial extension service may be of marginal utility in a knowledge-driven society, and Congress already has given away most of the available bandwidth to traditional broadcasting and telecommunications companies. Indeed, it can be argued that education itself will replace natural resources or national defense as the priority for the 21st century.
It might even be conjectured that a social contract based on developing and maintaining the abilities and talents of all people to their fullest extent could well transform schools, colleges, and universities into new forms that would rival the research university in importance. The field stations and cooperative extension programs—perhaps existing in cyberspace as much as at physical locations—could be directed to the needs and the development of the people in the region. Although traditional academic disciplines and professional fields would continue to have major educational and service roles and responsibilities, new interdisciplinary fields, such as complexity and global change, might be developed to provide the necessary knowledge and associated problem-solving services in the land-grant tradition.
In an era of relative prosperity in which education plays such a pivotal role, it may be possible to build the case for new federal commitments. But certain features seem increasingly apparent. New investments are unlikely to be made within the old models. For example, no matter its success, the federal government-research university partnership remains a system in which only a small number of elite institutions participate and benefit.
The theme of a new land-grant act would be to broaden the base, to build and distribute widely the capacity to contribute new knowledge and educated knowledge workers to society, not simply to channel more resources into established institutions. Hence, major new investments through additional appropriations seem unlikely.
However, there is another model—provided, in fact, by the Budget Balancing Agreement—in which tax policy was used as an alternative mechanism to invest in education. An example illustrates one possible approach. The states would commit to matching the federal contributions, perhaps by developing the research parks and assisting their colleges and universities in building the capacity to work with industry.
The participating universities would not only agree to work with industry, but would restructure their intellectual property ownership policies to facilitate such partnerships. Universities would go beyond this to build the capacity to provide more universal educational opportunities, perhaps through network-based learning or virtual universities. Universities also would agree to form alliances with other universities as well as with other parts of the education enterprise, such as K education and workplace training programs.
Other national priorities, such as health care, the environment, global change, and economic competitiveness might be part of an expanded national service mission for universities. Institutions and academic researchers would then commit to research and professional service associated with such national priorities. To attract the leadership and the long-term public support needed for a valid national public service mission, faculties would be called on to set new priorities, collaborate across campus boundaries, and build on their diverse capabilities.
This has been conspicuously lacking, but more determined and competent mayors and city leaders are emerging and the power of example is considerable. The majority of Africans will live in towns and cities by Management consultancies and international financiers routinely claim that rapid urbanisation is one of the great pluses in the investment case for Africa. As things stand, this is hyperbolic nonsense. For towns and cities to drive economic growth and livelihood improvement, more imaginative and effective urban planning and management are imperative; and the provision of public goods must replace a narrow focus on the wellbeing of elites.
Automation — as we move towards automated, electric vehicles, need to consider the effect on employment and wider implications of how we access mobility. Travelling on busy roads at peak hours could become the preserve of those who can afford to pay — how does that affect commuting etc; how will this change urban planning etc. AI — automated vehicles are one application of AI but what are the wider implications for employment need for universal basic income?
Many extoll the potential of technology to overcome that problem. Whatever technology may accomplish, we will still need to think about how space is used: automated and ride-sharing vehicles take up as much room as regular cars, whether they're on the road or parked off the street. Going into the future, urban space still needs to be designed to maximize places for people to congregate, which are key to building social connections, fostering a sense of belonging, and encouraging community efficacy. Space for human connection is often not considered at all against technological solutions in cities.
Without the design of places to support a social dimension, cities will not thrive regardless of how much technology we attempt to integrate, design for, and adopt. Public health outcomes increase when isolation diminishes and people connect. We save billions in environmental costs if we plan for places that encourage people to spend time outside. We even reduce economic limitations in labor markets when we plan for places that allow people to shorten their commute distances and have access to stores, schools, and other daily services. It's always fun to consider panaceas that can theoretically solve age-old problems in this case, growing populations with increasing travel needs.
However, not nearly enough attention is given to the social impacts of these new solutions. We must carefully consider how they may change the physical shape and design of our cities in the future. Most importantly, we must be aware of how they might isolate us. After all, by limiting our ability to socialize, technology may only generate new problems to replace the ones it "solved. Nicholas Agar, professor of ethics at the Victoria University of Wellington Recent advances in gene editing suggest a future in which we can radically upgrade human genomes.
But a rush to enhance ourselves may erase aspects of our humanity that proper reflection reveals as valuable. Proper reflection on what about us we might want to preserve takes time — it should draw on a wide range of perspectives about what it means to be human. Luke Alphey, visiting professor, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford Agricultural pest insects, and mosquitoes transmitting diseases, are long-standing problems for which we still have no satisfactory solution, indeed the problems are becoming more pressing.
Modern genetics can potentially provide powerful new means for controlling these ancient enemies with greater effectiveness and precision — for example minimal off-target effects on the environment — than currently-used methods. Gene drives are just one aspect of this, but perhaps encapsulate some of the issues. One gene drive system, involving inserting into mosquito cells a large amount of foreign to the mosquito DNA in the form of an intracellular bacterium Wolbachia , has entered field trials in several countries.
Potential applications of genetic methods in public health and conservation biology, for example, have very little in common with GM crops; lumping them together risks poor debate, poor policy and — in my view — potential delay or loss of huge human and environmental benefits. Genetics and health care play a role, but social, environmental, and behavioral factors have far greater impact on the whole health of a population. Some examples of social service investments include job training, supportive housing, and nutritional support — all of which have traditionally had an underestimated focus of attention.
Health and social services should be better integrated toward the achievement of common metrics, like lower rates of smoking, obesity, and depression. More research is needed, to measure the health care cost savings of early childhood education or income support programs, and to identify the most sustainable integrated models. A challenge moving forward is how to best engage the public with this fundamental science that really can positively impact human life and the world we live in.
The GRIN technologies — the genetics, robotics, information and nano revolutions — are advancing on a curve. Meanwhile, we humans are trying to process this exponential change with our good old v. With precious little help at all from those creating this upheaval. Folk are not stupid. They can clearly detect the ground moving beneath their feet, and that of their children and jobs and futures.
When the ground moves beneath her feet, any sane primate looks for something apparently solid to hold onto. So what are we doing? These guys are not stupid. Humans require meaning as surely as food. The days when scientists could not [care] about the impact of their work on cultural, values and society are over. Are you intentionally trying to create supermen?
How social information can improve estimation accuracy in human groups
Fix it. Get out of your silo.
And then invite the most interesting ones into your lab with the goal of them becoming partners. One example of this was the scientist who was spending her life finding the biomarkers for a disease for which there was no cure. Mercifully, her lab was among the first to start systematically bringing in partners from entirely outside. Might it be possible for you to find it interesting to search for a biomarker for a disease to which there is a cure?
Culture moves slower than does innovation. Deal with it, or watch the collapse of the Enlightenment as they ever increasingly come at you with torches and pitchforks — and correctly so. Mary Shelley knew her humans.
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You can not give an intelligent species nothing to do. And you may not like it. Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations 1. Greatest frustration: It is deeply annoying and vexing that CRISPR-cas9 and other gene editing techniques are being applied to treatment of rare diseases and a host of pharmacology development, but little investment is directed toward application of state-of-the-art gene editing or metagenomic sequencing and detection for point-of-care diagnostics creation.
There are many exciting developments at the lab bench level that could translate into "Star Trek"-like abilities to wade into epidemic hysteria and swiftly identify who is infected, and with what organism. There are even innovations that allow identification on-the-spot of infections with previously unknown microbes, based on conserved genetic regions found in classes of viruses or bacteria.
But nobody seems interested in bankrolling such game-changing innovations for production on a mass scale. It's a market failure issue — a where's-the-profits problem. If Ebola broke out somewhere tomorrow we are better off today in that some methods for quickly identifying the virus in blood samples exist, but even now they remain noncommercial, require a laboratory and have no relevance to real-world conditions.
In some in the national security community were obsessed with concern about gain-of-function research, mainly on flu viruses. Researchers were deliberately creating forms of H5N1 and H7N9 and H1N1 that could be passed mammalmammal, probably human-to-human. The goal on researchers' parts was to understand what genetic switches had to occur to turn a bird flu into a potentially catastrophic human airborne transmissible pandemic strain.
But of course the work was very dangerous — especially if it got into the wrong hands. That was then, this is now: The technology of gene modification is far more advanced, and application of cutting edge gene excision and incision techniques makes gain-of-function work potentially far easier, and more dangerous. The two governments that were taking the lead on dual-use research of concern issues UK and US are both preoccupied now with very different problems and new leadership.
And the WHO was the lead global agency — it is facing a major leadership change. So we have no guidance regarding how governments are likely to view these issues. But many common infections are becoming more difficult to treat because bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs available.
Drug-resistant infection — or antimicrobial resistance — is a very serious health threat to us all. Already it results in around , deaths a year globally.
Within a generation it could be 10 million; it could mean we can no longer safely carry out not only complex, lifesaving treatments such as chemotherapy and organ transplants but also more routine operations like caesareans and hip replacements. More needs to be done to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent drug resistant infections and to speed up development of new antibiotics to replace those no longer effective in protecting us against deadly infections.
However, the gains of these new technologies are being captured by a minority of the population both domestically and internationally. One outcome is human migration which is not only political but also economic and social. The other is the more frequent outbreaks of diseases, epidemics and pandemics such as ebola, MARS and Zika. In a world where there is a sentiment against movement of goods and people, how can developing societies adapt to increasing inequalities and build systems of governance to ensure human security? Pardis Sabeti, Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard University The recent Ebola and Zika epidemics exposed our global vulnerabilities to deadly microbial threats and highlighted the need for proactive measures in advance of outbreaks and swift action during them.
At the same time it shows our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat deadly infectious diseases through new technologies. It is a time of great potential for devastation or advancement for one of the greatest challenges of our lifetimes. Robert Sparrow, adjunct professor, Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University What does justice require of wealthy Northern states when confronted by mass migration from increasingly impoverished Southern countries as a result of accelerating climate change?
As technological developments increasingly drive social change, how can democratic societies empower ordinary people to have a say in the decisions that shape the technological trajectories that will in turn determine what the future looks like? How can the public have meaningful input into the character of the algorithms that will increasingly determine both the nature of their relationships with other people on social media and their access to various important social goods?
How can we prevent an underwater arms race involving autonomous submersibles over the coming decades? How can we ensure that questions about meaning and values, and not just calculations of risks and benefits, are addressed in decisions about human genome editing? Eric Topol, Scripps Transatlantic Science Institute Our major challenge is related to our new capability of digitizing human beings. But the problem is that this generates many terabytes of data, which includes real-time streaming of key metrics like blood pressure. Aggregating and processing the data, derived from many sources, with algorithms and artificial intelligence particularly deep learning is a daunting task.
Mike Turner, Head of Infection and Immunobiology at Wellcome Trust Infectious disease outbreaks are a growing threat to health and prosperity in our modern world. Vast amounts of international travel, increasing urbanisation and a changing climates means that viruses can cross borders and spread around the globe faster than ever before.
Recent outbreaks like Sars, Ebola and Zika have all shown how unprepared the world is to deal with epidemics. To stand any chance of tackling this threat, we need new vaccines, stronger healthcare systems and a better coordinated global response. The WHO also needs to be much better funded and have the mandate to respond swiftly and effectively when diseases do begin to spread.
Only by investing, coordinating and working together can we expect to prepare the world for the next inevitable epidemic. Gavin Yamey, professor of the practice of global health, Duke University Global Health Institute I believe one of the most urgent global issues that we face in and beyond, and one that we are woefully ill-prepared for, is the threat of epidemics and pandemics. We have three enormous gaps in the global system of preparedness. First, many countries have weak national systems for detecting and responding to outbreaks. Second, we have too few vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics for emerging infectious diseases with outbreak potential.
Closing these three gaps is one of the most urgent global priorities if we are to avert a potential world catastrophe. Cities are places where infrastructure gets locked in for decades, if not centuries, but city planners must make investments now in a world where technology is changing rapidly where people live, work and play, and how they access buildings, transport, energy and waste management.
The fastest growth is happening in thousands of secondary cities where mayors and city managers are not well schooled in technical urban planning. Often, these secondary cities must collaborate with each other to deliver services effectively across boundaries within larger metropolitan areas. Carey King, assistant director, University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute We need a discussion as to what political leaders, business leaders, and citizens think is an appropriate distribution of wealth across the entire population. This focuses on the real question how many people have what, independent of the size of the economy, though the two are linked instead of discussing how to shape policies and taxes to achieve an unspecified growth target independent of wealth distribution.
Trump, Brexit, and Le Pen are representations that people understand growth only for the elite in the West is no longer tenable.
An issue that has not received enough attention in the media and popular understanding is that the Earth is finite and this fact will have real world physical, economic, social, and political implications. Neoclassical economics ignores this obvious fact, yet it is used to guide most policy eg, economic projections and scenarios , including that for climate change mitigation. Thus, we are using an economic theory that is simply incapable and inapplicable for informing an unprecedented transformation of the economy. We are already grappling with this problem across our developing member countries and with deteriorating river or surface water quality, lack of sufficient ground water sources and increasing dependence on sea water as a supply source, we have to bring in innovations in water management.
Treatment technology, water aquifer mapping, recycling and reuse of wastewater, etc. ADB is working with a large number of utilities to address these issues and as we engage on a long term basis with many cities and utilities, we will be actively exploring opportunities to bring in value for money propositions so that the utility benefits in the long term. We are also connecting with industry leaders to understand market trends so that we can bring the best to our developing member countries.
Climate change is just one piece of evidence of this fact. Technological improvements, while potentially important in reducing per capita impact, are not sufficient to make us sustainable unless we also stop growth in human numbers and reduce average consumption, while simultaneously lessening the gap between the richest and the poorest people on the planet.
Sustainability is a term that is not well understood and is misused, but the reality is that any activity that is not sustainable will stop. So far, non-renewable resources are what are primarily driving our economic engine. But by definition, non-renewables are being depleted and for the most part will stop being economically available in this century.
So we must plan rapidly for the day when humanity can live using just renewable resources, while maintaining the biodiversity that makes the planet habitable. In truth, sustainability is the ultimate environmental issue, the ultimate health issue, and the ultimate human rights issue. Strategies that help to bring about changes in societal behaviour, including reproductive behavior, are critically important in achieving sustainability. Use of entertainment media is a key component of such strategies, since a large share of humanity consume entertainment mass media during free time.
For that reason, Population Media Center utilises long-running serialised dramas in various countries to create characters that gradually evolve into positive role models for the audience to bring about changes in social norms on a broad array of critical issues.
Attached are three documents that describe this work and its effects. Globally speaking there is still a lot of people — 1. There is going to be a lot of rising demand from regions like Africa. One of the big challenges of deploying new energy technologies, particularly these intermittent renewables like wind and solar, is the impact they have on the system. It used to be that in the summer it was a really quiet time for the grid operator compared to the winter, but now they are having this peak in generation in summer due to solar energy when demand is low. They are having to juggle this as we cannot store electricity in large quantities yet.
This is a new way of operating for them. With the sort of changes we are seeing in energy systems around the world, cheaper and better storage is going to be a big part of the solution. When it comes to heating for somewhere like the UK, you might need storage that lasts several months. You get a lot of energy generated in the summer and you might need it in the winter to heat homes. This is an area that is really ripe for innovation and we are really only at the start of deploying and trailing those.
It is a critical part of this new system we are trying to create. When non-authoritative information ranks too high in our search results, we develop scalable, automated approaches to fix the problems, rather than manually removing these one-by-one. We recently made improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web. While we provide the portal for users to find information, we depend on content creators and distributors to apply journalistic discipline to what they are creating. The scale of popular social networks has democratized publishing, which effectively lets anyone — regardless of their intentions or qualifications — produce content that can appear journalistic.
I do see a need in the market to develop standards, perhaps from an organization like Nielsen. Facebook and others are working on this, too. Eddie Copeland, director of government Innovation at Nesta, a UK charity that has looked at the future of democracy in the digital world Rather than waiting for politicians to make decisions and then we all argue over whether what they say reflects reality, we could have tools that engage people much earlier in the process so they can be involved in formulating ideas and drafting legislation, following the course of how ideas go from concept to becoming laws and how effective they are in reality.
It might just give you a fighting chance of making people feel part of a system rather than observing it from the outside. Nonny de la Pena, virtual reality journalist and CEO of Emblematic Group Call me idealistic, but I really believe if you have an informed global citizenry, then people are going to make better decisions.
People may not be looking at traditional media for their solutions. I think for audiences, VR is a totally different type of story.