‘Encoding the same biases’: Artificial intelligence’s limitations in coronavirus response

As the coronavirus pandemic endures, the socio-economic implications of race and gender in contracting Covid-19 and dying from it have been laid bare. Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in the response, but it could also be exacerbating inequalities within our health systems – a critical concern that is dragging the technology’s limitations … Read more

Teleworking is here to stay – here’s what it means for the future of work

Coronavirus response measures have accelerated the transition to telework, with the proportion of Europeans who work remotely shooting up from 5% to 40%, and this is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to experts. But beyond eliminating commutes and water cooler moments, how will this reshape the way we work? Remote working has exploded … Read more

Q&A: In a picture – dancing about particle physics

The dance 'Neutrino Passoire', meaning 'colander of neutrinos’, is a study of an elusive type of particle - how it moves, and as analogy for the cross-border movement of people. Image credit - Mairi Pardalaki

Particle physicist Professor Kostas Nikolopoulos, at the University of Birmingham, UK, who was part of the team who discovered the Higgs boson, tells Horizon why he worked on a dance about neutrinos and the similarities between the creative process in science and the arts. The idea to do a dance performance about neutrino physics happened … Read more

Can the world emerge from the pandemic a better place?

The pandemic has caused disruption around the world, but it could also be an opportunity to make some much needed social and environmental changes as countries try to adapt and recover from the crisis. In the space of just a few months the world has seen drastic change. People who commuted to work and had … Read more

For world’s poorest, coronavirus loss of income threatens ability to eat

Urgent action is needed to feed people who can no longer buy food due to the pandemic and loss of income and to prevent hunger levels from soaring, say experts. Image credit - Pixabay/tyaqakk, licenced under Pixabay licence

by Alex Whiting The world’s poorest – who have lost their incomes from illness or because of lockdowns – are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and, unless they receive enough support, hunger levels will soar and some countries may see rising violence, experts say. Already 135 million people are on the brink of starvation … Read more

Biodegradable glitter and pollution-eating microalgae: the new materials inspired by nature

The reflected colour of the marble berry differs from cell to cell, giving it a striking appearance. Image credit - Juliano Costa/Wikimedia, licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0

The iridescence of marble berries and the clever, light-bending perforations of microalgae are some lessons from nature that scientists are drawing upon to create biodegradable glitter and makeup pigments, and bionic algae to use in lasers or to clean pollutants. Nature has spent millions of years evolving answers to problems. It has come up with ingenious solutions … Read more