Special Reports Round-up

A number of interesting and relevant reports have come out recently covering issues related to Science, Technology and Innovation, Future Studies, International Cooperation, among many other topics of interest. Readers can check them out below. Links are provided for viewing and downloading the corresponding PDF files directly from the sources. Enjoy!

The UNESCO Science Report 2010 (USR) was launched on World Science Day on 10 November 2010. The report is a “global overview of the main developments in scientific research, innovation and higher education since its predecessor was published in 2005. It blends facts and figures with an analysis of the major trends in global expenditure on research and development, scientific personnel and scientific publications.” Click here to access the full report.

Europeans and Biotechnology in 2010 – Winds of change? This is a report to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research, published in October 2010. It is a result of a survey on the Life Sciences and Biotechnology, which also specifically addresses nanotechnologies in the context of biotechnology. Results are based on representative samples from 32 European countries and point that the restrictive view about GM food that characterised the 1990s is no longer the dominant perspective. Click here to access the full report.

“No-Till” Farming Is a Growing Practice. In order to help policymakers and other interested parties better understand U.S. tillage practices and, especially, those practices’ potential contribution to climate-change efforts, researchers from the Economic Research Service – ERS-USDA compiled data showing that approximately 35.5 percent of U.S. cropland planted to eight major crops, or 88 million acres, had no tillage operations in 2009. Click here to access the full report.

Science and Innovation for Development, by Professor Sir Gordon Conway and Professor Jeff Waage, with Sara Delaney. Published by UKCDS in January 2010. The book contains reviews of different technologies relating to development, using the Millenium Development Goals as reference. The focus is on agriculture, environment and health and the authors discuss how scientific education, knowledge and research are crucial to solving development challenges. Click here to access the book.

The Super-Cycle Report, published by the Standard Chartered Bank argues that we are in a new ‘super-cycle’ driven by the industrialisation and urbanisation of emerging markets, and global trade. Super-cycle is defined as a ‘a period of historically high global growth, lasting a generation or more, driven by increasing trade, high rates of investment, urbanisation and technological innovation.  It is characterised by the emergence of large, new economies, first seen in high catch-up growth rates across the emerging world’. Click here to access the full report.

“Climate-Smart” Agriculture – Policies, Practices and Financing for Food Security, Adaptation and Mitigation. This document was prepared by FAO as a technical input for the Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change,  held from 31 October to 5 November 2010. It argues that “developing climate-smart agriculture is crucial to achieving future food security and climate change goals”. This report examines some of the key technical, institutional, policy and financial responses required to achieve this transformation. Click here to access the full document.

Futures of Technology in Africa. The Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends -STT explores futures at the crossroads of technology and society.This book is the result of an STT foresight on technology in Africa. The underlying question for the study was how new technology would affect the poorest societies rather than the richest, those with least access to technology rather than those surrounded by the latest inventions. Click here to access the full document.

Integrated Farming Systems – The past or the future? This study, sponsored by Nuffield Australia and Rabobank Australi, investigates the resource and economic sustainability of integrated (mixed) farming systems in Australia. Also, it aims to understand the role sustainable farming practises play in leading farming businesses both now and into the future. And it seeks to answer if “sustainable” farm businesses integrate beyond the farm gate as a means of improving their farm profits and sustainability outcomes. Click here to access the full document.

The future of research – This publication has been produced by Universities UK, which is the representative organisation that seek to promote the strength and success of UK universities nationally and internationally. This report considers how the UK’s research community – the funders, enablers and supporters of research – can work together to build on, maintain and enhance the world-leading science and research in the United Kingdom. Click here to access the full document.

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