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A response to Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

The decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change puts the United States at odds with both science and global geopolitical norms.  The fundamentals of climate change remain unambiguous: greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing, they are increasing because of human action, the increase will cause warming, and that warming creates risks of extreme weather, food crises and sea level rise. That does not mean that scientists can predict all of the consequences of global warming, much work needs to be done, but the risks are both profound and clear. Nor do we know what the best solutions will be - there is need for a robust debate about the nature, fairness and efficacy of different decarbonisation policies and technologies as well as the balance of responsibility; the Paris Agreement, despite its faults with respect to obligation and enforcement, allowed great flexibility in that regard, which is why nearly every nation on Earth is a signatory.


The Diamond Battery – your ideas for future energy generation

On Friday 25th November, at the Cabot Institute Annual Lecture, a new energy technology was unveiled that uses diamonds to generate electricity from nuclear waste. Researchers at the University of Bristol, led by Prof. Tom Scott, have created a prototype battery that incorporates radioactive Nickel-63 into a diamond, which is then able to generate a small electrical current.
Details of this technology can be found in our official press release here:
Despite the low power of the batteries (relative to current technologies), they could have an exceptionally long lifespan, taking 5730 years to reach 50% battery power. Because of this, Professor Tom Scott explains:
“We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellite…

MetroLabs visit: Sharing experiences of implementing smart cities

In December 2017 I was invited to take part in the Metro Lab Annual Summit, taking place in Georgia Tech in the United States. I thought it worthwhile to share a few of my own thoughts about the meeting and what can be drawn from the experience.

The MetroLab Network includes 41 cities and 55 universities within the United States that have formed city-university partnerships that focus on research, development and deployment projects to offer solutions to many of the challenges facing urban areas. These allow decision makers and researchers to work together within their cities to achieve better urban living, while being able to share best practice from each other’s experiences.

The visit was facilitated by the UK Science and Innovation Network, part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who provide opportunities for international collaboration. As well as delegates from the University of Bristol and Bristol City Council, we shared the visit with delegates from Glasgow and Strathclyde…