[Policy Forum] Opportunities for advances in climate change economics

Science

There have been dramatic advances in understanding the physical science of climate change, facilitated by substantial and reliable research support. The social value of these advances depends on understanding their implications for society, an arena where research support has been more modest and research progress slower. Some advances have been made in understanding and formalizing climate-economy linkages, but knowledge gaps remain [e.g., as discussed in (1, 2)]. We outline three areas where we believe research progress on climate economics is both sorely needed, in light of policy relevance, and possible within the next few years given appropriate funding: (i) refining the social cost of carbon (SCC), (ii) improving understanding of the consequences of particular policies, and (iii) better understanding of the economic impacts and policy choices in developing economies.


Scientific Research Suffers As Funding Falls, Faulty Results Could Rise

International Business Times

Dwindling funds for scientific research could encourage scientists to cheat, a report released Friday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine finds. Additionally, research misconduct is eating up precious funds even as they grow scarcer. The report, "Fostering Integrity in Research," said the funding crunch could hamper progress as scientists skip protocols and arrive at faulty conclusions. Research misconduct, some of which was not detected for years, has led to an increase in the "number and percentage of research articles that are retracted and growing concern about low rates of reproducibility … [raising] questions about how the research enterprise can better ensure that investments in research produce reliable knowledge," Chairman Robert M. Nerem wrote in the report's preface. The U.S. devoted 2.81 percent of gross domestic product to research and development in 2012, with the private sector contributing two-thirds of that.


EPSRC Research Software Engineering Fellowship

#artificialintelligence

"Software is the most prevalent of all the instruments used in modern science" [Goble 2014]. Scientific software is not just widely used [SSI 2014] but also widely developed. Yet much of it is developed by researchers who have little understanding of even the basics of modern software development with the knock-on effects to their productivity, and the reliability, readability and reproducibility of their software [Nature Biotechnology]. Many are long-tail researchers working in small groups – even Big Science operations like the SKA are operationally undertaken by individuals collectively. Technological development in software is more like a cliff-face than a ladder – there are many routes to the top, to a solution.


Proposal Would Support Clean-Coal Research in Wyoming

U.S. News

It would support carbon capture research that is taking place in Wyoming and elsewhere and streamline federal processes to allow for faster development of carbon capture-research-related infrastructure.


Tech-support scams: Microsoft reveals that fraudsters are still fooling too many people

ZDNet

But Microsoft's latest survey on the scourge found some positive news: more consumers today know that tech firms like Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft won't make unsolicited contact. Microsoft's 2018 global tech-support scam research found that consumers have "developed a healthy skepticism" about unsolicited contact from tech and software companies. The scams includes calls, emails, and pop-up ads that purport to be from a well-known tech company claiming to offer a fix for malware or other tech problems. In 2016 Microsoft's global tech-support scam research found that 37 percent of respondents said it was likely that tech companies would contact them out of the blue to offer assistance with tech problems. Today, however, 25 percent find it likely the companies would do this.