Guaranteeing access to food for a growing human population – based on sustainability criteria and in the face of the climate change threat – is the main challenge for twenty-first-century agriculture. The solutions are inevitably complex, require a variety of coordinated measures, and are dependent on the development of technologies.
Can humans control the future evolution of our species? Based on current knowledge in genetics, one can infer and extrapolate what may happen in the near future. After all, if we are to predict the future, we must first understand the foundations of our present.
We are living through a crisis which we call Anthropocene. Even though we study their ecological impact, their causes are social: the destruction of cultures and biodiversity is the heritage of colonialism, although it is now following different paths or being played out by different actors.
Adults and older people have most likely always wondered how the young will manage to survive in the world they are left with, and at this point in history, this is a central question in our debates. In order to resolve it, we must resort to one of the main tools we have devised to try to understand the world we live in, the one we call science.
On the occasion of the 100th issue of Mètode, we present reflections on some of these challenges, such as food and energy production, the processing of information, genetic modification, or synthetic biology.
Robotics and automation and artificial intelligence technologies hold immense potential in addressing many of the societal challenges as exemplified in the sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda of the United Nations.
Between the mid-1980s and the present day, conservation biology split into two almost independent fields: management ecology and conservation ecology. We have witnessed the recovery of large endangered species and a decrease in small and common species.
Els éssers humans ja fa temps que som conscients de ser una espècie amb gran poder per modificar el món natural. I tant que ho hem fet. Però només fa unes dècades que la societat, amb veu ferma, es revolta contra la desfeta duta a terme.
The lack of information from institutions and organisations regarding the use of animals in scientific research produces a specialised communication niche which non-scientific groups have exploited to make public opinion sympathetic to them.
Biotechnological research has made significant progress; however, some of its results are controversial because of their health and environmental risks, and these limit their application because of the precautionary measures applied to them.
Communication is essential in all areas of society, but communication in science is inescapable. Communicating means sharing, showing, teaching, and transferring knowledge both to colleagues and to society in general.
The communication of biotechnology has played a key role in recent years. The great advances made and the speed with which new genetic editing techniques are implemented raise enormous expectations but also concerns.