In January 2015, I went to the World Economic Forum in Davos. I produced a number of interviews with Nobel laureates and the former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu, about some of the most pressing issues of the day. Here they are.

 

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How to Solve the Problem of Antibiotic Resistance

28 January 2015

Venki Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist based at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. Credit: Wikipedia
Venki Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist based at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge. Credit: Wikipedia

Nobelist Venki Ramakrishnan recommends an array of steps, including international cooperation

 

This is the last of a series of interviews with leading scientists, produced in conjunction with the World Economic Forum on the occasion of last week’s conference in Davos, Switzerland; interviews for the WEF by Katia Moskvitch.

 

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives—but their misuse and overuse is making them less effective as bacteria develop resistance. Despite scientists’ warnings, antibiotic prescriptions in many countries continue to soar.

Venki Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist based at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge, tells us about the importance of gaining a better understanding of the use and misuse of these wonder drugs. ---> Keep reading

A Graphene Discoverer Speculates on the Future of Computing

23 January 2015

Graphene is highly conductive and transparent and is also the strongest material known to science. Credit: Wikipedia
Graphene is highly conductive and transparent and is also the strongest material known to science. Credit: Wikipedia

Nobel laureate Konstantin Novoselov, considers exciting uses for graphene and other materials

As leaders from business, politics and science convene this week at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss pressing matters of the day, Scientific American is publishing a series of interviews with leading scientists, produced in conjunction with the forum. This is the third of four interviews for the WEF by Katia Moskvitch.

 

In 2010 two physicists at Manchester University in the U.K. shared a Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on a new wonder material: graphene, a flat sheet of carbon just one atom thick. Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim, both Russian émigrés, discovered the material by applying plain old sticky tape to simple graphite.

Graphene is highly conductive and transparent and is also the strongest material known to science. One day it could revolutionize electronics. Novoselov tells us about the possibilities of this 2-D material and how it could transform the industry. ---> Keep reading

 

Will Falling Oil Prices Kill Wind and Solar Power?

22 January 2015

Steven Chu, professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University, and former Energy Secretary in the Obama administration. Credit: Wikipedia
Steven Chu, professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University, and former Energy Secretary in the Obama administration. Credit: Wikipedia

Former U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu weighs in on the future of energy

As leaders from business, politics and science convene this week at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss pressing matters of the day, Scientific American is publishing a series of interviews with leading scientists, produced in conjunction with the forum. This is the second of four interviews for the WEF by Katia Moskvitch.

 

The price of oil has plummeted from more than $100 a barrel in July to less than $50. Meanwhile the U.S. has become the world’s leading producer of natural gas, helping the country become more self-sufficient on energy. Will this abundance of fossil fuels derail the world’s shift to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power? And what does this shifting energy landscape mean for the role of fossil fuels in the U.S. energy mix? And what about nuclear power—should concern of the safety of nuclear waste trump the benefits of exploiting this noncarbon-polluting source of energy?

 

To find out we asked Steven Chu, professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University and former Department of Energy secretary in the Obama administration. Chu also received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 for his work cooling and trapping atoms with lasers. ---> Keep reading

 

“It’s Totally Unacceptable for Society Not to Act”

21 January 2015

Mario J. Molina, a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the ozone layer, says that more must be done to help the public understand climate science, before the carbon levels reach catastrophic levels. Credit: Wikipedia
Mario J. Molina, a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the ozone layer, says that more must be done to help the public understand climate science, before the carbon levels reach catastrophic levels. Credit: Wikipedia

A Q&A with Nobel laureate Mario Molina on climate change

 

As leaders from business, politics and science convene this week at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss pressing matters of the day, Scientific American is publishing a series of interviews with leading scientists, produced in conjunction with the forum. This is the first of four interviews for the WEF by Katia Moskvitch.

 

Evidence is overwhelming that carbon emissions are the biggest single cause of increasing global average temperatures, melting polar ice caps and rising sea levels. Why, then, do so many people deny that climate change is the result of human activity? Mario J. Molina, a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the ozone layer, says that more must be done to help the public understand climate science before atmospheric carbon reaches catastrophic levels.   

Molina spoke to us about why public understanding of the impact of climate change is so important, and what efforts are being planned to get this message across. ---> Keep reading

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