Recherche, sciences, techniques

Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

« The Future of Independent Media »

Fondé à San Francisco en 1987, le Global Business Network (GBN) est un centre de réflexion dont l'ambition est de définir l'impact des évolutions socio-économiques sur le monde des affaires et sur nos sociétés baignées de technologie. Sa publication thématique, Deeper News, se penche sur le formidable développement des médias indépendants (des circuits traditionnels), grâce à l'explosion des possibilités d'expression qu'offre Internet. Le premier constat est l'énorme bond technologique de ces dernières années, qui ...

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Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

Quand les technologies convergeront

In the future, when nanotechnologies, biotechnologies, information technologies and the cognitive sciences converge, we shall not only have biological computers, but "humanity could well achieve something like a single brain", capable of both the best and the worst.
No, this is not an exercise in science fiction. Jean-Pierre Dupuy argues convincingly here that already nanotechnologies in the areas of information and communication are being developed, with the prospect of a new "molecular electronics" whose power and consequences could be "phenomenal".
He goes on to explain how, thanks to nanobiotechnologies, the dream is coming to pass of rivalling Nature, and making what Eric Drexler has called "engines of creation". He then shows how, thanks to the cognitive sciences, everything (the universe, nature, life, the spirit) could be reduced to (or transcended by) a "network of formal neurones".
Those promoting this technoscience are "many, powerful and influential" and potentially highly dangerous, according to Jean-Pierre Dupuy. Driven by "a demiurgic plan to manufacture life by technical means", they constitute a grave threat which must be dealt with urgently.

Revue

Économie, emploi - Entreprises, travail - Géopolitique - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Europe et États-Unis : la divergence économique

Although the standard of living of Europeans gradually caught up with that of the Americans in the three decades after World War II, it would appear that the trend has dipped since the 1980s. Economic growth in Europe has stagnated, whereas growth has continued in the United States, despite events such as the bursting of the high-tech bubble, and September 11th. Is the decline of Europe compared with the United States unavoidable? What are the reasons for it?
Alain Villemeur describes the different paths taken by the two major Western blocs. He disentangles the reasons normally given to explain the poor results achieved in Europe (inflation, high interest rates, less flexible markets, industrial decline...) and challenges their validity in the light of the remarkable counter-example provided by the Netherlands.
In his view, the key to economic recovery in Europe lies in the investment countries are prepared to make in innovation and knowledge, and the way that innovations are achieved and implemented. What matters most now is to give priority to innovations in products (which means investing in research aimed at developing new products and services) rather than in processes (i.e. attempting to improve or copy innovations in existing products). It is a European country, Sweden, that provides the model for this approach.
For Alain Villemeur, the only means of reversing the economic decline of Europe over the last 20 years lies in combining strong support for research and development and innovation (on the Swedish model) with close control of wage costs (as in the Netherlands), and ensuring that this strategy applies also to the new members of the European Union.

Forum

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

De la réglementation des biens technologiques

Pierre Bonnaure pursues an investigation published in Futuribles of the role played by information and communications technologies in economic growth. He shares here his view of the impact of regulation in this sector and stresses, in particular, the importance in economic warfare of how norms are defined; he argues that, through lack of political judgement, the French - and sometimes the Europeans - have often made bad decisions about regulations which have then handicapped them vis-à-vis their main competitors (the United States and Japan).

Revue

Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Misère de la recherche en France

Jean-Jacques Salomon energetically castigates the contempt for scientific research in France; he criticizes the lack of resources and the dangers that this will incur in the medium and long term. But he goes further and proposes a proper plan to give a new impetus to research, development and innovation, emphasizing that it is not enough to allocate more money - the whole structure of research needs fundamental reform, as indeed does the French model of education.
Those in government care little for research, he argues, even though it has become ever more important in planning for the future.
First, research needs a genuine injection of money, and Jean-Jacques Salomon proposes ways in which the necessary funding could be achieved. But it is also essential to tackle the institutional and structural problems that beset a system that is in large part badly designed for today's needs.
The author distinguishes two complementary types of research (i.e. basic and applied), and shows that it is essential to overhaul the organization and the manner of funding and managing research. He argues forcefully in favour of a "national science foundation" and, incidentally, for a closer integration of research and the universities.
In this vein, he would like to see a thorough transformation of the French education system, with a clearer separation of vocational training - which needs to be upgraded - from higher education and research, which should be encouraged... Scattered through his text are recommendations that are particularly welcome in this long troubled period for the French system of research and innovation, and he starts a debate that will be continued in future issues of Futuribles.

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Recherche, sciences, techniques - Territoires, réseaux

« La ville de demain »

Le XXe siècle a vu une urbanisation foudroyante et massive se développer dans toutes les régions du monde, le XXIe verra probablement la continuation de cette tendance : en 2003, selon les Nations unies, 48 % de la population vivaient en ville, cette proportion devrait atteindre 61 % en 2030. Les mutations de la ville ont été l'objet d'une rencontre internationale de prospective organisée au Sénat en février 2004. Ce dossier en résume quelques interventions. Sébastien Marot aborde d'abord le ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

10 innovations qui vont changer la vie

Au terme d'une enquête dans les laboratoires, la rédaction de Science & Vie a sélectionné les 10 pistes qui promettent de changer nos existences. Les nanoparticules à tête chercheuse et activables à distance pourraient permettre d'atteindre et de traiter les cellules malades sans se diffuser dans tout l'organisme, évitant ainsi les effets secondaires des traitements classiques. Les premières applications devraient voir le jour d'ici 2010. Les bioplastiques à base de végétaux, voire de bactéries, biodégradables, sont ...

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Futurs d'antan

Entreprises, travail - Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

La politique de recherche, vue de 1964. Extrait des Réflexions pour 1985

Since the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000, the European Union gave itself the target of becoming "the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world" by the year 2010. A target which, according to the official line, would involve bringing the European research effort to 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by this time. Why this figure of 3% of the GDP? Part of the response lies in an extract from the 1964 work from the Plan, Considerations for 1985 (Paris: La documentation Française), which is reproduced in this issue. From 1964, the strategists for the French Plan estimated that in two decades' time, 3% of the gross domestic product should be devoted to research, in order to put France in a favourable position among international competitors and to make it a genuine rival for the United States -which was already showing this investment rate in the research carried out in 1964! They also insisted on the necessity of increasing research performance in France, notably with the help of an appropriate recruitment policy and the creation of "suitable reception facilities" which would incidentally provide researchers with the means to work efficiently.

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Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

« Perspectives sur la communication en temps de crise et la communication du risque »

Ce numéro spécial de l'IPTS Report s'intéresse à la communication en temps de crise qui touche les domaines des sciences et de la technologie. Pour gérer une crise spécifique et afin de mieux réagir au risque en général, les citoyens doivent pouvoir s'en remettre à une information honnête et opportune, centrée sur les questions qui les préoccupent et issue de sources crédibles. Or la confiance en ces renseignements influence la plupart des aspects de la communication du ...

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Géopolitique - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Aspects of eHealth

L'e-santé, définissable comme l'utilisation des technologies de la société de l'information dans le secteur de la santé, devient l'une des grandes priorités des programmes sanitaires de l'Union européenne : du dossier médical informatisé à la télémédecine, en passant par la géolocalisation (utile notamment pour les aveugles ou les missions de premiers secours), l'évolution du système de soins sera radicale. C'est donc logiquement que l'IPTS (Institute for Prospective Technological Studies) a choisi l'e-santé ...

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Revue

Géopolitique - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Galileo : une ambition européenne

Although at the end of 2003 the member states of the European Union were unable to reach agreement on a draft Constitution which would provide them with a full political framework, there are other areas -often thought to have greater strategic implications- where they are making rapid progress together. Space, in particular, is one such area, as illustrated by the Galileo programme to create a satellite-linked positioning and guidance system.
André Lebeau, a scientific adviser to Futuribles, presents here the ins and outs of the Galileo programme, which has as one of its main aims to develop a competitor for the American Global Positioning System (GPS), the only efficient satellite-linked guidance system currently available. After outlining the story of how the GPS was created and the numerous military, civil and industrial matters associated with it, Lebeau describes how the Europeans have organized this "counter-attack". He highlights the implications of this initiative for greater co-operation in Europe, because of the political and defence issues involved, if for nothing else.

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

Un aperçu des technologies dans la Silicon Valley - Tendances et Perspectives

Ce rapport, réalisé par l'ambassade de France aux États-Unis, dresse le portrait des tendances et des perspectives liées aux technologies développées dans la région californienne de la Silicon Valley. Cette vallée, composée d'un tissu serré de compétences de haut niveau, possède de nombreux centres de recherche à l'origine d'une activité économique intense. La région est aussi célèbre pour avoir été le berceau d'un nombre considérable de technologies, en particulier dans le secteur des sciences et ...

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Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques

Informatique : l’après-Moore ?

The phenomenon labelled "Moore's law" is well known: over the last 30 years the density of microprocessors per integrated circuit, i.e. the number of transistors integrated on the same silicon chip, has doubled every 18 months.
Readers of Futuribles will perhaps recall, however, the article we published in September 2002 (n° 278), in which Jean-Paul Colin already argued that this pace of progress could not be maintained indefinitely. He returns to the topic here, stressing that this amazing miniaturization of transistors gave rise to many desirable but also undesirable effects.
According to Colin, other factors influence the overall performance of an integrated circuit and of the system which uses it, such as its architecture and the power lost by a microprocessor in the form of heat. First, this power loss is doubling every 36 months: such an increase will eventually become a major problem. Secondly, improvements in the architecture of microprocessors -a factor whose importance is rapidly increasing as systems become more complex- is not keeping pace with this growing complexity.
Colin insists that these two factors are likely to be decisive in future in determining whether or not Moore's law continues to operate. It is virtually certain, moreover, that Intel, having failed either to make the investment or to acquire the necessary expertise in this regard, will see its position challenged by new competitors (including IBM, American start-ups and Asian firms) which will perhaps play a much more important role hereinafter.

Revue

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

L’invention de l’homme jetable

For some time the topic of cloning has been a matter of passionate debate, frequently at the forefront of media attention, stirring up not only those engaged in research in biotechnologies, but also (and increasingly) philosophers, sociologists, psychiatrists and the like. The reason is that the ethical implications are enormous. Grégory Bénichou, a professor of ethics, provides a glimpse of these issues that is disturbing, to say the least, as he shows how the argument favouring scientific progress can sometimes conceal the temptations of eugenics.
He argues that society is in the throes of developing a new concept: the "disposable human being". Just as IQ scores were established as a way of measuring the intellectual capacities of individuals, a genetic quotient is currently being devised as an indicator of what constitutes a more or less normal individual -the risk being that parents will choose their baby in vitro according to his or her score. Other aberrations of the same type already exist, according to Bénichou, referring to firms that sell "high quality" sperm that is supposed to help ensure the birth of "better" offspring, or businesses that are introducing genetic assessments as part of their hiring process.
In addition to the social (sometimes geopolitical) inequalities inherent in practices such as these, Bénichou shows that the argument that therapeutic cloning (in which "clones without a brain" are made in order to build up an organ bank of spare parts), which is considered to be more "ethical" than reproductive cloning, is a false one. Other techniques, which are less in the media spotlight but which are potentially just as efficient, already exist to "treat people without debasing human life".
The ultimate question he raises is: "Is human cloning really a step forward for humanity?" Does it not threaten to undermine permanently the principles of freedom and equality, and to establish different grades of human being? According to G. Bénichou, in such circumstances, it is not a matter of defending progress, but of justifying it.

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Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

ICT and Social Capital in the Knowledge Society

Le rapport décrit un projet de recherche sur le lien entre les technologies de l'information et la communication (TIC) et le capital social. Partant de trois documents de travail traitant de différents aspects de cette relation, des experts se sont réunis à Séville en novembre 2003. Ce rapport rassemble ces documents et une synthèse de la discussion. Le premier document, ICTs, Civil Society and Global / Local Trends in Civic Participation, traite des aspects de la cohésion sociale et de ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

Projected Growth Effects of a New Emerging Industry : The Case of the Biotechnology Sector in Finland

Dans cette étude, le Research Institute of the Finnish Economy montre comment intégrer les industries émergentes dans un modèle de prévision statistique. Pour ce faire, les auteurs analysent le cas des biotechnologies en Finlande, en émettant des hypothèses prospectives sur les impacts possibles de cette industrie sur l'économie du pays. Ils dressent d'abord un portrait du secteur des biotechnologies dans ce pays, à l'aide d'un sondage mené auprès de 84 compagnies finlandaises actives dans ce secteur ...

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Géopolitique - Recherche, sciences, techniques

The Future Impact of ICTs on Environmental Sustainability

Lors du sommet européen de Göteborg en juin 2001, l'Union européenne a adopté une stratégie commune de développement durable s'intégrant dans sa stratégie de transition vers une économie de la connaissance. Or, les technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) jouent un rôle important dans cette transition. De nombreuses études de cas sur l'impact des TIC sur certains aspects du développement durable avaient déjà été réalisées, mais jusqu'ici, selon l'IPTS, il n'existait ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

Le singe, l’homme, et après…

Sous la pression de l'environnement, le corps humain change, et parfois rapidement : les Français ont gagné sept centimètres en 50 ans, l'obésité se développe... À quoi ressemblerons-nous dans 1000 ans ? Quel est notre avenir biologique ? Les progrès de la science peuvent-ils engendrer une nouvelle humanité ? C'est à ces questions que tente de répondre le dossier de Science & Vie. En réalité, notre espèce évolue toujours, mais plus lentement qu'à ses origines : le cerveau ne continue pas ...

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Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Rapport sur les nouvelles technologies de l’énergie

La première partie du rapport énumère les neuf constats du groupe de travail liés aux nouvelles technologies de l'énergie qui caractérisent la situation actuelle et les défis que doit affronter la politique de recherche et développement dans les technologies de l'énergie afin d'honorer les besoins énergétiques à venir de la France et de l'Europe et de réduire les émissions de gaz carbonique. La seconde partie propose les grandes lignes d'une stratégie européenne de recherche et ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

Perspectives des technologies de l’information de l’OCDE 2004

Dans les entreprises des pays de l'OCDE, Internet sert toujours avant tout pour la recherche et la diffusion d'informations, et seulement une entreprise sur cinq offre à ses clients la possibilité d'acheter des produits en ligne, d'après l'édition 2004 des Perspectives des technologies de l'information de l'OCDE. La proportion d'entreprises utilisant les technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC) dans la production est de 24 % au Japon, 20 % au Canada ...

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Entreprises, travail - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Le Pari de l’intelligence. Des puces, des souris et des hommes / Betting on Intelligence. Of Chips, Mice and Men

Renforcer le pouvoir des citoyens et l’activité, désenclaver les territoires : Internet y contribue, mais il favorise aussi des hégémonies. Il faut faire des choix techniques et organisationnels conformes à nos valeurs, en optant pour des standards ouverts, en préservant la vie privée. La société de la connaissance n’a pas de sens si on bâillonne la connaissance, nous exposant à de nouveaux Tchernobyl. Exploitons le numérique pour qu’entreprises et société fassent réellement le pari de l’intelligence.

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Population - Recherche, sciences, techniques

Coping with Methuselah : The Impact of Molecular Biology on Medicine and Society

Le XXIe siècle sera peut-être celui de la biologie moléculaire, selon les auteurs de ce livre, pour qui cette science changera probablement la manière dont les êtres humains considèrent le monde qui les entourent et se voient eux-mêmes, et « bouleversera la vie et la conscience humaine au moins aussi profondément que la révolution industrielle ». Selon eux, il n'est pas irréaliste de prévoir que l'espérance de vie (qui plafonne autour de 80 ans dans les pays les plus avancés ...

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Recherche, sciences, techniques

The Future of Publishing and Media

Ce document se veut une introduction à une prospective du secteur des médias et du secteur de l'édition face aux technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC). Il donne une définition du secteur et décrit les tendances qui peuvent avoir une influence sur son avenir. Il part du constat que, depuis les années 1990, l'innovation au sein des TIC a eu une grande influence sur la transformation du secteur de l'édition et des médias. Ces ...

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Géopolitique - Institutions - Recherche, sciences, techniques

eGovernment in the EU in the next decade : the vision and key challenges

This report summarises the results of the workshop "eGovernment in the EU in 2010: Key Policy and Research Challenges" (Seville, 4-5 March 2004), which aimed to a) develop a balanced vision of what eGovernment in the EU would look like in 2010 and, b) define the key challenges to realising this vision.

Chapitre recherche, sciences...

Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.