On Friday, 29 November 2019, on the occasion of the 20 year existence of the FNR, the FNR organised an off-beat event – The House of Frankenstein – where citizens and scientists came together to immerse themselves in some of the biggest controversial science topics facing society, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), genome editing, gender balance and the use of space resources. Join us on a journey as we revisit the evening.
Looking at popular culture, big tech and ongoing societal debates – technological progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) affects us all. Researchers from numerous scientific fields are working on the best way to bring AI forward, including the study of systems able to autonomously reason over arguments – calculators for philosophical, ethical or legal debates.
In the last decades, how research is conducted has been profoundly changed by ICT, and there has also been a shift from the ‘sole genius’ towards teamwork and especially interdisciplinarity: Today, millions of researchers worldwide collaborate across organisational, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries, extending the possibilities of new scientific discovery. This, and the associated data, has paved the way for the scientific field Science of Science, where one key question is understanding exactly how scientific quality is fostered by research collaboration.
Using solar absorbers for collection and storage of heat from the sun is an environmentally friendly way to generate heat, yet only 16% of heating is generated from renewable energy. Material scientists are looking for ways to boost this number by making the solar absorber coatings more efficient.
Luxembourg start-up LuxAI, with their socially assistive robot QTrobot, has been making waves on an international level since it was created. The FNR has supported the project from its inception through the development of a prototype, helping bridge the gap between lab and commercialisation. We speak to LuxAI founders Dr Pouyan Ziafati and Dr Aida Nazarikhorram about the LuxAI journey so far; how QTrobot came to be and how parents can now have a QTrobot at home.
Carbs are all around us: a major constituent in food, they also play a role in many biological processes such as intercellular communication; they are in demand in the pharmaceutical industry, where they are currently used as anticoagulants and in skincare. With the goal of no longer having to rely solely on nature’s production of carbs, scientists have been working on ways to ramp up production. A case for chemistry!
Neurogenerative diseases and cancer affect millions of people worldwide, especially people over 60. While advances in diagnosis and treatment have been made, there are still many open questions on the path to better treatment and earlier diagnosis. Translational neuroscientist Pauline Mencke studies a gene that is involved both in Parkinson’s disease and the brain cancer Glioblastoma multiforme.