ESMH Press Review – March 4, 2020

Data, digital communication, ecosystem preservation & coronavirus impact: check out the ESMH selection of 22 science & tech news published in the last 2 weeks on the web. Pick your favourite from the most popular topics in the mainstream media !

Transport & Energy | Agriculture & Environment | Information society | Food & Health | Science policy & Communication | What about us ? | Curious news

In the spotlight

Digital giants becoming ‘powerful gatekeepers’ to what we watch
breakingnews-ie, 28.02.2020
Digital giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook are becoming “powerful gatekeepers” of what we watch and hear, according to the boss of Europe’s public service broadcaster alliance. Noel Curran, director-general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said traditional broadcasters were finding it “increasingly difficult” to reach viewers. Read More

New international standard for descriptive metadata launched
digitaljournal, 23.02.2020
A new international standard for descriptive metadata has been published by the International Standards Organizations (ISO), seeking to harmonize the approach adopted by different industries globally. Descriptive metadata for the Internet is a necessary requirement for users to navigate their way around different sites. Metadata facilitates the tracking of resources, plus their identification and archiving. Read More

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots
guardian, 21.02.2020
The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.On an average day during the period studied, 25% of all tweets about the climate crisis came from bots. Read More

Encouraging the use of open datasets: 2020 #EUDatathon competition now open
eureporter, 20.02.2020
On 18 February, the European Commission and the Publications Office of the European Union launched the fourth edition of the ‘ EU Datathon ‘, a competition that invites people passionate about data to develop new, innovative apps that make good use of the EU’s numerous open datasets. The application process is open until 3 May 2020. Read More


Agriculture & Environment

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Birds’ lives changing rapidly in Finland, signalling ecosystem shift
yle-en, 28.02.2020
Beyond shifts in migratory patterns, birds in Finland are showing dramatic changes in their lifestyles and cycles as the climate warms. That is according to a book published on Thursday by a leading ornithologist from the University of Helsinki. Common birds are proliferating while rarer species’ populations have plunged by more than 90 percent. Read More

We have a chance to halt biodiversity loss. The stakes have never been higher
guardian, 24.02.2020
The year 2020 has been designated a “super year for nature”, when the global community will rededicate itself to halting biodiversity loss with a 10-year action agenda, scheduled for agreement at the conference of the parties to the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in Kunming in China in October. Read More

Research and agricultural innovation in Lao People’s Democratic Republic benefiting smallholders
agris-fao, 21.02.2020
While Lao PDR is a comparatively small country in Asia it has an impressive track record in agricultural research and recent organic innovation. At the Lao PDR Rice Research Center, just under an hour’s drive from the capital, a team of researchers in white coats and hair nets, inspect samples of many different rice varieties. Read More


Transport & Energy

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3 Billion tons less CO2 with Photonics
sciencebusiness, 02.03.2020
Photonics technologies can contribute to 3 billion tons less carbon dioxide per year by 2030. A new study by SPECTARIS, the Fraunhofer Institute, TEMATYS and Messe Munchen shows that photonics applications have the potential to contribute 3 billion tons less CO2 output per year by 2030. Read More

Is this, finally, the affordable electric car?
forbes, 01.03.2020
The electric car revolution won’t succeed until new battery-only vehicles are affordable to average income buyers and a sneak preview ahead of the cancelled Geneva Auto Show showed the industry was still nowhere near achieving this promised land. Read More


Information society

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Teaching a robot to do my job (and grimly cheering my obsolescence)
guardian, 02.03.2020
I didn’t exactly love my dead-end data entry job, but wasn’t thrilled to be losing it to robotic automation either. I use the term “robot” both for dramatic effect and because that is how management refer to the project. More accurately, it is Robotic Process Automation, or RPA. Read More

Instead of panicking over the coronavirus, maybe we should start innovating
forbes, 28.02.2020
The new coronavirus, COVID-19, is disrupting our lives, health and financial markets. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global health emergency. Also, stocks are plummeting. But it’s not all bad. According to Fintech Futures, the effects of the coronavirus on the local Chinese market have proven that innovation and technology are replacing banks’ role in the financial sector. Read More


Food & Health

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The coronavirus impact
timesofmalta, 28.02.2020
The talk of the town this week has certainly been the coronavirus. Foreign newspapers have actually given this item much more space and attention than local newspapers have. Even so on Tuesday we still had a spurt of panic buying which was generated not on the basis of any reliable news but on the basis of fake news and irrational impulsive behaviour. Read More

Covid-19 is teaching hard lessons about China-only supply chains
economist, 27.02.2020
Until about the third week of January, only a few pharmaceutical executives, drug-safety inspectors and dogged China hawks cared that a large share of the world’s supply of antibiotics depends on a handful of Chinese factories. These include a cluster in Inner Mongolia, a northern province of windswept deserts, grasslands and unlovely industrial towns. Then came the covid-19 outbreak, and quarantine controls that locked down factories, ports and whole cities across China. Read More

EFSA chief: assessing fast-changing agrifood innovation is key challenge
euractiv-en, 26.02.2020
Being equipped with the right methods to assess industry’s rapidly changing innovation will be a key challenge for the European Food Safety Authority, (EFSA). Regarding the Green Deal, EFSA is obviously only affected in the agri-food part, which means sustainability from farm to fork. The political aim is to make agriculture and the agri-food system sustainable, which has many aspects ranging from food waste, diet, nutrition, to the amount of animal protein, but it’s also about farming practices. Read More


Science policy & Communication

Social Media Social Networking Technology Connection Concept

UNESCO, coalition seeks inclusion of Media Literacy curriculum in Nigerian tertiary Institutions
dailytimes-NG, 28.02.2020
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Media and Information Literacy Coalition of Nigeria (MILCON) has sought for the inclusion of Media and Information literacy curriculum (MIL) in Nigerian tertiary institutions. The MIL curriculum which is also supported by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) is meant to educate Nigerian students on the usage of the media and eradication of fake news and hate speech. Read More

Huawei to build first European 5G factory in France to soothe Western nerves
japantimes, 28.02.2020
Huawei will build its first European manufacturing plant in France, the chairman said on Thursday, as the Chinese telecom giant seeks to ease worldwide concerns stoked by U.S. charges that Beijing could use its equipment for spying. Read More

Nintendo: Animal Crossing fans upset by cloud restrictions
bbc, 21.02.2020
Fans of the Animal Crossing game have criticised Nintendo after it said players would not be able to save their progress to its cloud back-up service. Saving game progress to the cloud is a key feature of the Nintendo Switch online subscription service, which costs £17.99 a year. Read More


EU initiatives

Digital Services Act – the opportunity for Europe to lead in the platform economy
euractiv-en, 26.02.2020
The European institutions are gearing up for the revision of the 2000 eCommerce Directive. The Directive has contributed to what is now known as the platform economy in the Single Market. However, at the time of its drafting many of today’s challenges were impossible to anticipate. Read More


Curious news

To 11 million Brazilians, the earth is flat
digitaljournal, 28.02.2020
Ricardo, who declines to give his full name for just that reason, is a 60-something man whose restaurant in Sao Paulo has become a meeting place for people who, like him, reject the notion that the Earth is a sphere. “The only things I know for certain are that I’m going to die someday and that the Earth is flat,” he says. Read More

Walnut intake linked to healthy ageing in women
business-standard, 26.02.2020
Consumption of at least two servings of walnuts every week may be associated with healthy ageing among women, a study claims. “Healthy aging” was defined as longevity with sound mental health and no major chronic diseases, cognitive issues or physical impairments following the age of 65. Read More

Birds may learn to make better food choices by watching videos of others eating
business-standard, 20.02.2020
Some birds may have the natural ability to learn to avoid foods that taste disgusting and are potentially toxic by watching videos of each other eating, according to a new study. Seeing the ‘disgust response’ in others helped the birds blue tits and great tits, native to the European continent, recognise distasteful prey by their peculiar markings without having to taste them, a study, published in the Journal of Animal Ecology, noted. Read More


 

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