Colour Trends Autumn 2020

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Expert Forecasts for 2020

Different Countries, Different Issues: The Capacity of Various Nations to Use Technology Applications to Address National Problems Yet in countries whose economies are stronger and whose citizens can better afford (literally) to be concerned about the environment, public demand for cleaner, healthier surroundings and responsible stewardship of natural resources can drive the use of these applications. Improving public health is often another leading goal. Because people in many of these countries frequently lack clean water and good sanitation, waterborne diseases are common and generally spread easily. The largely rural populations usually have little access to health care. In nations where cities are growing and people are traveling more frequently both domes-tically and abroad, the threat of epidemics can increase. In South Africa, for example, AIDS These five, plus two others—rapid bioassays and green manufacturing—could help improve public health as well. The ability to use bioassays to quickly screen for diseases would enable governments to prevent epidemics. It would also increase the probability of correctly prescrib-ing medications, decreasing resistance to antibiotics and other drugs. Reducing the volume of toxic materials in the environment produced by conventional manufacturing processes would improve public health. Action Will Be Required to Maintain a High Level of S&T Capacity The accelerating pace of technology development and the growing capacity of emerging economies to acquire and implement technology applications will make economic security a moving target even for the most advanced nations. If countries are to stay ahead in their capacity to implement applications, they will need to make continuing efforts to ensure that laws, public opinion, investment in R&D, and education and literacy are drivers for, and not barriers to, technology implementation. In addition, they will have to build and maintain whatever infrastructure is needed to implement the applications that will give them a competitive advantage.