Blockchain Technology: Implications for Development

A new research paper has been posted in the Risk Innovation Lab on the implications of blockchain technologies on development:

Blockchain Technology: Implications for Development
Author: Kevin Johnson


Blockchain technology is being explored in several places around the world to solve problems and make systems of record more efficient. This paper outlines and provides a review of blockchain technology and includes potential implications for international development in private, government, and non-profit sectors. This research defines blockchain and other terms important to an understanding of the technology, discusses how blockchain is currently being applied, how it might be applied, explains how the technology works, reviews Hyperledger as a potential platform for use in a development context, supplies an example of how the technology might be used in a solar power grid, and provides concluding thoughts as to the positive and negative effects of implementing blockchain technology in the developing world.

The full research paper is downloadable here

Michael Bennett cited in USA Today

Risk Innovation Lab Fellow Michael Bennett was cited in USA Today addressing international trade under a Trump administration.

“The implications of a trade war or the eruption of upwardly cascading tariffs are virtually impossible to predict,” said Michael Bennett, an associate research professor at Arizona State University who has been tracking trade, especially with Mexico.

However, that doesn’t mean international investing is dead or even unwise at the moment, especially since it remains to be seen what policies take final shape. “The fallout could as easily negatively impact U.S.-heavy equities portfolios as it could those full of foreign investments,” Bennett said.

The article was first published in the Arizona Republic

Read the full USA Today article here

Risk and Amelia Earhart

Andrew Maynard was recently a guest on the Big Picture Science podcast with Seth Shostak, talking about risk in the context of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance in 1937.

Big Picture Science – Amelia Earhart: Andrew Maynard / Inescapable Uncertainty

You can listen to the whole podcast here – Andrew’s portion starts at around minute 42:30

Science Showcase – a new approach to communicating science through video

The Risk Innovation Lab has launched a new initiative aimed at providing researchers with a platform for publishing short, engaging and informative videos about the work they do.

Science Showcase is a YouTube channel designed to connect researchers with casual learners through the medium of video:

You can read more about the initiative here, and follow us on YouTube and on Twitter

New paper on Zika and risks to teens

A new paper has just been published by Andrew Maynard, Diana Bowman and James Hodge that addresses the elevated probability of teens giving birth to a child with microcephaly and multiple other disabilities.

Mitigating Risks to Pregnant Teens from Zika Virus
Andrew D. Maynard, Diana Megan Bowman and James G. Hodge Jr.
Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 44, No. 1, 2017

Abstract: Zika infection in pregnant women is associated with an elevated probability of giving birth to a child with microcephaly and multiple other disabilities. Public health messaging on Zika prevention has predominantly targeted women who know they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, but not teenage females for whom unintended pregnancy is more likely. Vulnerabilities among this population to reproductive risks associated with Zika are further amplified by restrictive abortion laws in several Zika-impacted states. Key to prevention is enhanced, targeted public health messaging centered on teens nationally and particularly in certain high-risk regions.

Read more:

Risk Bites video on peanut allergies featured by Washington Post

To coincide with new guidelines NIH on exposing infants to peanuts, the Washington Post featured a video from the Risk Bites Youtube channel:

The video explores recent research that suggesting that some exposure to peanut products early on might be helpful in reducing the risks of later allergic reactions.

You can watch the original Risk Bites video here:

The science of effective science communication

Risk Innovation Lab director Andrew Maynard has just published an article on The Conversation exploring the challenges of communicating science effectively, to coincide with a new National Academies of Science report on science communication:

What does research say about how to effectively communicate about science?
Andrew Maynard

Andrew served on the NAS committee that compiled the just released report:

Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda
National Academies of Science (2016)

Q&A with Diana Bowman on responsible brain research and tech

Risk Innovation Lab Fellow Diana Bowman was interviewed by ASU Now on a workshop on ethical and responsible development of brain technologies. The workshop, co-organized by Bowman, was led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and hosted in Washington DC by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Read the full interview here.

Science and the human brain: How far is too far?
ASU professor helps international think-tank organize event to tackle this and other ethical questions
ASU Now, September 15 2015

Link to full article