Minas Trend Primavera Verao 2020


Expert Forecasts for 2020

Scientifically proficient and advanced countries with more power and more money can better afford to make these goals high priorities. 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. In terms of improving public health, the same applications that the developing countries have the S&T capacity to acquire toward this end—cheap solar energy, rural wireless communications, GM crops, filters and catalysts, cheap autonomous housing, rapid bioassays, and green manufacturing—could help the proficient nations as well. In addition, these countries have the S&T capacity to acquire targeted drug delivery, which is likely to eventually become such a widespread application that it will enable cancers and other diseases to be treated on site in remote areas, with significant benefits to public health. Similarly, they will be able to acquire the same applications as the developing countries to reduce the use of resources and improve environmental health: cheap solar energy, rural wireless communications, GM crops, filters and catalysts, green manufacturing, and hybrid vehicles. Consideration Could Head Off Problems and Maximize Benefits Public policy issues will need to be resolved before a country will be able to realize the full benefits of a technology application. Not all technology may be good or appropriate in every circumstance, and just because a country has the capacity to implement a technology application does not necessarily mean that it should. Ethical, safety, and public concerns will require care-ful analysis and consideration. Public policy issues will need to be debated in an environment that seeks to resolve conflicts. Such public debate, in addition to being based on sound data, will need to be inclusive and sensitive to the range of traditions, values, and cultures within a society. In some cases, issues will remain after the debate, slowing or even stopping technology implementation. Sometimes the reasons clearly will be good (e.g., when safety concerns cannot be adequately addressed), and sometimes the result will simply reflect collective decisionmak-ing determining what a particular society wants and does not want. Global diffusion of a technology application does not mean universal diffusion: Not every nation in the world will be able to implement, or even acquire, all technology applications by 2020. The level of direct S&T capacity may be markedly different from one country to another. Within different geographical regions, countries also have considerable differences that play into their ability. These differences may include variations in physical size, natural conditions (e.g., climate), and location (e.g., proximity to oceans and water). The size of the population and demographics (e.g., birthrate) may vary dramatically between countries in a single region. Countries may have very different types of government, economic systems, and levels of economic development.