COMLAB#7: THE NEXT BIG BANG New Frontiers in Exploring Life

The science year 2022 brought us ground-breaking news – from new AI-based approaches to drug production to spectacular insights into distant galaxies delivered by the James Webb Telescope. Science has always experimented at the boundaries of life, but how will new technologies shape our understanding of humans and our habitats in the future?

With new space missions and fast developments in bioengineering, ComLab#7 aims to explore the research that will fuel our expectations in 2023. What are the new frontiers in research and how can or should scientists and journalists tell the story of the next big bang that is already fundamentally happening but has not yet arrived in everyday reality? At the same time: How much news value should we ascribe to risky or early research? Can too much attention at an early stage harm further developments, especially in terms of public acceptance? In addition, there are ethical and social issues to consider, especially when we deal with disruptive research and technologies.

With the seventh ComLab we want to light out the territory for the next scientific revelation whilst also considering the underlying cultural norms that affect how new research is implemented and perceived in different countries.

Key Questions: 

  • What are the next big trends and topics in science in 2023?
  • How to communicate cutting-edge research in a clear and comprehensible way?
  • What might be the social and ethical implications of new frontiers in research – from the exploration of space to progress in the field of bioengineering and drug production or AI-based innovation?
  • How do different cultural perspectives and religion influence our understanding of ground-breaking discoveries?
  • To what extent is the visibility of new research determined by inequality of opportunity – especially regarding differences between the Global North and the Global South?