2021 - May
A conversation with Kashyap Tumkur: the promise and challenges of precision medicine
by Bushra Anjum
Ubiquity's senior editor Dr. Bushra Anjum chats with Kashyap Tumkur, a software engineer at Verily Life Sciences, the healthcare and life sciences arm of Alphabet. They discuss how the notion of "precision medicine" has gained popularity in recent times. Next, the focus turns to Tumkur's work, where he, along with his team, is working on collecting and integrating continuous time-series data to create a map of human health.
On sharing knowledge and fostering "open science"
by Erol Gelenbe, Guy Brasseur, Luc Chefneux, Véronique Dehant, Véronique Halloin, Jean-Paul Haton, Michel Judkiewicz, Bernard Rentier, Romain Weikmans
The crucial importance of science and technology and its accurate peer reviewed dissemination, has once again been demonstrated during the current pandemic. Thus the COVID-19 pandemic together with the inevitable energy transition required by climate change, lead us to consider the issue of scientific and technical communication, both for the written papers and proceedings that have largely moved online (but not always in open access), and the various types of seminars, workshops, and symposia that frequently involve air travel with substantial CO2 impact. Online meetings that have become recently very popular, as well as online repositories for publications, themselves have a significant CO2---as well as environmental---impact, due to the massive use of electricity by information and communication technologies (ICT) and of the environmentally unfriendly manufacturing processes and decommissioning of ICT equipment. Presented is a broad overview of these aspects, and some recommendations regarding the future organization of scientific and technical communication, including: (1) peer-reviewed journals and proceedings with online open access; (2) the importance of face to face seminars and symposia, together with online meetings, to maintain the serendipity and importance of direct human contact while reducing the need for air travel; (3) the peer evaluation of research and of academic and research staff and its dependence on publications and their qualitative---rather than excessively quantitative---evaluation, where the concept of impact should include the usefulness of research to education, industry and society; (4) and the crucial role of ICT in all these aspects and the questions raised by the sustainability of ICT itself.