Science and society take center stage at Davos panel

The WEF 2019 is held at Davos in Switzerland. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 January 2019

Science and society take center stage at Davos panel

  • UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri was one of the speakers
  • The panelists addressed the relationship of science and society

DUBAI: Panelists at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland took the stage Friday to talk about science and society, including issues such as vaccine skepticism and digital health among others.

Among the speakers was UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri. She was joined by Martina Hirayama, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education and Research and Innovation; Andrew Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Proteus Digital Health Inc.; Shellice Sairras, a medical researcher at Academic Hospital Paramaribo; and Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president at European Research Council.

The panelists addressed the relationship of science and society, including topics such as how the public consumes scientific information in their daily lives; digitalization of health; and the impact of technology in public health.

One of the issues the panelists discussed was vaccine skepticism, which the they agreed was a common debate in a lot of countries.

“We as scientists have the obligation to communicate science in layman’s language to our communities,” medical researcher Sairras said, highlighting the importance of public understanding in addressing health issues.

UAE Minister Al-Amiri said the research process should be “humanized,” instead of just focusing on presenting the results in numbers.

“We established a team in my office to create science content for the public, translating scientific information to become more understandable,” she said.

The panel also underscored the importance of including the youth in these public discussions about health, with some panelists mentioning the role of social media in the discourse.

“Communication on social media is much more impactful than anywhere else,” Al-Amiri added.

 


Oil falls as rising virus cases overshadow demand recovery

An oil tanker ship at a port in Burgas, Bulgaria. Most market participants expect more downward pressure on oil, with COVID-19 ravaging the landscape. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 August 2020

Oil falls as rising virus cases overshadow demand recovery

  • Declines come after WTI rose 1.8% and Brent climbed 1.5% on Monday; renewed lockdowns weigh on prices

LONDON: Oil prices eased on Tuesday on concerns that a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections will hamper a global demand recovery just as major producers ramp up output.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 67 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $40.34 a barrel, while Brent crude dropped 71 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $43.44.
The declines come after WTI rose 1.8 percent and Brent climbed 1.5 percent on Monday on better than expected data on manufacturing activity in Asia, Europe and the United States.
News from Asia and Europe is adding to concerns that the infection crisis may be spreading in a global second wave, not just in the United States and Brazil, said Paola Rodriguez Masiu of Rystad Energy.

HIGHLIGHTS

• News from Asia and Europe is adding to concerns that the infection crisis may be spreading in a global second wave, not just in the United States and Brazil, said Paola Rodriguez Masiu of Rystad Energy.

• Producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, are raising output this month, adding about 1.5 million barrels per day of supply.

• Analysts estimate that US refined product stockpiles rose last week, according to a preliminary poll ahead of data from the American Petroleum Institute and the US government on Wednesday.

Denting fuel demand, cities from Manila to Melbourne are tightening lockdowns to battle new infections, while Norway has stopped cruise ship traffic in the latest European travel alarm.
In a further sign of a patchy rebound in demand, analysts estimate that US refined product stockpiles rose last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll ahead of data from the American Petroleum Institute and the US government on Wednesday.
At the same time, producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, together known as OPEC+, are raising output this month, adding about 1.5 million barrels per day of supply. US producers also plan to restart shut-in production.
“Most oil market participants expect more downward pressure on oil ... with COVID-19 ravaging the landscape and OPEC+ adding more barrels into play,” said Stephen Innes, Chief Global Markets Strategist at AxiCorp.