At their simplest, blockchains are just lists of transactions - ledger books - that are recorded in a transparent and decentralised way. Currencies such as Bitcoin are the best-known application of the technology. However, other applications are emerging far beyond the financial sector. In this stimulating opinion piece, Philip Boucher, policy analyst at the European Parliament's Scientific Foresight Unit explains the opportunities and challenges that such an emerging technology offer. The biggest question is: are we ready to give up traditional financial and governmental control in favour of decentralised blockchain applications harbouring greater transparency? Some of the answers may be found in an event organised by the Scientific Foresight Unit of the European Parliament event on the 11th May 2017. Read more [...]This post was viewed 372 times.
Hacking solutions to science problems are springing up everywhere. But what about the publishing industry? Where are the TripAdvisors for journals submissions, the Deliveroo for laboratory reagents? Clearly there are so many opportunities technology could bring to radically change the lives of scientists that it is a bit difficult to know where to start. Yet, the debate on the future of scholarly publishing may be about changing the incentives for researchers rather than embracing smart technology solutions. Find out from the experts in the industry who gathered in Frankfurt a few weeks ago. Read more [...]This post was viewed 775 times.