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Keynote Address: PASI 2013 in Methods for Data-Driven Discovery


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Science and technology require a broad change of perspective and overview. This presentation addressed the requirements of the Americas for advancing towards world-class scientific leadership with human values at its core.

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Keynote Address: PASI 2013 in Methods for Data-Driven Discovery

  1. 1. Science and Technology, the 21st Century and the Americas: Towards Regional Multidisciplinary Envisioning Santiago Núñez Corrales Director of Digital Technologies Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications Steering Committee Member Advanced Research and Technology Collaborative for the Americas Board Member, Foundation Pro Renewable Energy
  2. 2. Themostexcitingbreakthroughs of the 21st centurywillnotoccurbecause of technologybutbecause of anexpanding concept of whatitmeansto be human. John Naisbitt
  3. 3. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science How are we here? What is life? How does the mind work?How can we grow together?
  4. 4. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science How are we here? Cosmology Astronomy Quantum Physics Mathematics Computing Grand open questions: • Unification of gravity with the Standard Model of Physics • A precise, fundamental concept of time, space and energy • A model of the universe at sub-Planck scales • A model for understanding the particular tuning of fundamental constants in the universe
  5. 5. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science What is life? Biology Chemistry Nanoscience Mathematics Computing Grand open questions: • Identification of the minimal functions of a living system • Identification of the minimal components of a living system • A complete model of a minimal environment capable of sustaining life • A complete model of a minimal environment capable of producing live entities from non-living materials
  6. 6. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science How does the mind work? Grand open questions: • Understand how neurons and their firing patterns translate into simple (and complex) thinking • Understand awareness and consciousness in an integrated view • To determine fully the role of emotions and qualia • To develop a systemic model capable of predicting behaviour Biology Chemistry Neuroscience Medicine Mathematics Computing
  7. 7. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science How can we grow together? Grand open questions: • Identify the core elements of a balanced society between development and self- transcendence • Determine the role of human interactions leading to global behaviour • Develop a model of social behaviour integrating all possible aspects of life • Make power structures accountable to the public Biology Social Science Humanities Arts History Mathematics Computing
  8. 8. … and theirdilemmas How are we here? What is life? How does the mind work?How can we live together? Is life inevitable? Is death avoidable? How does society impacts us? How to build a better society from each of us? Dowematter? Doweexist? Right? Isintelligencenecessary?
  9. 9. Nature is parsimonious Nature is connected Nature is organic Nature is diverse Nature is complex (for us)
  10. 10. TheFour Great Frontiers of Science How are we here? What is life? How does the mind work?How can we grow together? General Systems Theory Stochastic Systems Network Theory Supercomputing programming language design More efficient supercomputers A new grammar for mathematics
  11. 11. The Challenges Mathematics is required to understand nature, and it requires a change in its language. Better models and copious data are necessary to analyse, predict and model nature. Science-driven policies need to be put in place to improve our lives in connection with nature. Science needs to become accessible to the general public by means of visualization and simulations.
  12. 12. From the exploration of the frontiers of knowledge, grand open questions arise. From solving the questions, fundamental philosophical dilemmas arise. Advancing the status of humanity often depends on actively taking a stance on such dilemmas.
  13. 13. 6.52. We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Of course there is then no question left, and just this is the answer. Ludwig Wittgenstein. TractatusLogico-Philosophicus.
  14. 14. TheValues of theAmericas Resources are finite Biodiversity must be protected Human talent is invaluableTrue collaboration is essential
  15. 15. Public policy makers need to be aware of the great scientific challenges, given the ethical questions they continue to pose. Any institution dealing with STI systems has to be fluent not only in the language of science, but also needs from the humanities and the arts for communicating and attracting new talent. The Americas are in a privileged position to tackle many of the grand open questions with fresh eyes and new ideas, taking advantage from available hemispheric resources. A proper envisioning for STI requires regional collaboration in a global world.
  16. 16. Science Directorate National database of research scientists Science Prospection and International Cooperation National Roadmaps for Converging Sciences Science and Economic Development
  17. 17. Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope. Theodore Roszak, Where the Wasteland
  18. 18. Thank you