Inaugural “Queen Elizabeth Prize” (£1 million) to 5 inventors of the Internet. @QEPrize #QEPrize Press release:

Outstanding achievements of global significance in engineering science will, for the first time, be awarded today, 18 March 2013. With prize money of one million pounds the Royal Academy of Engineering this year honors the inventers of the Internet for their revolutionizing accomplishment.With this, the Queen Elizabeth Prize is the most highly endowed award in the field of engineering science worldwide.

In the early 1990s at the European Research Centre CERN, the British man, Timothy Berners-Lee, developed the HTML language, hypertext transfer HTTP, the first browser and the first web server. This represented the origin of the World Wide Web. Rather than patenting his ideas and technical solutions he made them freely available. Already in the early 1970s the US citizens, Robert Elliot Kahn and Vinton Cerf, and the French man, Louis Pouzin, developed the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP) which serve for data transmission and distinct addressing in modern Internet. With this they are regarded as the pioneers of internet. Marc Andreessen developed the early Mosaic-Browser, from which the widely used Netscape-browser system developed.

A high-ranking international jury selected the winner from the submitted nominations. Professor Reinhard Hüttl, as President of the National Academy of Science and Engineering acatech and as Scientific Executive Director of the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is one of the jury members. “This prize can be seen as the Nobel Prize for Engineering Science. Every two years, the Royal Academy of Engineering, under the auspices of Queen Elizabeth II, awards breakthroughs in engineering science that change the world. Such a breakthrough is, of course, the internet which not only influences modern technology but also society worldwide”.

Indeed Earth Science today is also no longer imaginable without the World Wide Web. “Modern Early Warning Systems such as the Tsunami Early Warning System GITEWS are based on an extremely fast data processing and, in particular, data transfer” explains Prof. Hüttl further. “But also the rapid development in modern geosciences is based, among others, on the fact that huge data amounts are, nowadays, available globally and within a minimum of time for the science community worldwide”.

The prize will be handed over personally by the British Queen on 25 June within the framework of a festive ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London. Prof. Hüttl with be attending the event: “I am looking forward to this event as with the Queen Elizabeth Prize, Engineering Sciences will finally experience the appreciation that corresponds to their value for society.”

#wikileaks reveals new drone designs, sort of. By @4fishgreenberg & Scott Menchin.

#wikileaks reveals new drone designs, sort of. By @4fishgreenberg & Scott Menchin.

Just in case you doubted, @NASciences finds “Electric Power Grid ‘Inherently Vulnerable’ to Terrorist Attacks.” News release: Report Delayed in Classification Review, Will Be Updated

                       

WASHINGTON — The U.S. electric power delivery system is vulnerable to terrorist attacks that could cause much more damage to the system than natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, blacking out large regions of the country for weeks or months and costing many billions of dollars, says a newly released report by the National Research Council. 

 

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Event alert, Hudson Valley, Thurs. eve: @Horganism & @Revkin explore nexus of humans, technologies, Earth systems at Beacon Institute for Rivers & Estuaries. More here:

Andrew Revkin, author of The New York Times "Dot Earth" blog and senior fellow at Pace University, joins John Horgan, science journalist and director of the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology, to discuss technology’s future. Hudson River environmentalist John Cronin will moderate the conversation on Thursday, September 20 at 7pm at Beacon Institute’s Center for Environmental Innovation and Education at Denning’s Point.

In their talk, Horgan and Revkin—both influential science journalists responsible for sharing the most current scientific thinking with hundreds of thousands of readers each month—will explore the question of whether we have reached the beginning or the end of technology. 

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Fab posts by Dan Piraro @pirarobizarro on his turnaround on #GMO (via @keithkloor). One of Dan’s points:
4. Lots of people object to the fact that Monsanto manufactures GMO seeds to make money. That, for me, is not enough evidence to say that the products are dangerous. Antibiotics are manufactured for profit, but I’m still going to use Neosporin on my cuts.

Fab posts by Dan Piraro @pirarobizarro on his turnaround on #GMO (via @keithkloor). One of Dan’s points:

4. Lots of people object to the fact that Monsanto manufactures GMO seeds to make money. That, for me, is not enough evidence to say that the products are dangerous. Antibiotics are manufactured for profit, but I’m still going to use Neosporin on my cuts.

"If behavior and technology do not change, more numerous humans will trample the earth and endanger our own survival. The snake brain in each of us makes me cautious about relying heavily on changes in behavior. In contrast, centuries of extraordinary technical progress give me great confidence that diffusion of our best practices and continuing innovation can advance us much further in decarbonization, landless agriculture, and other cardinal directions for a prosperous, green environment. For engineers and others in the technical enterprise the urgency and prizes for sustaining their contributions could not be higher. Because the human brain does not change, technology must."

— Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University on a path toward fitting people on a finite, thriving planet

New tune by @holmesdm et al gets beyond OMG reaction to GMO’s. Read the post for the hyper-linked lyrics. More on a hybrid path to a secure food future on Dot Earth.

Edward Hammer, inventor of helical CFL bulb, has died, age 80. He maintained a neat podcast/blog until 2008. Here’s a fascinating 2008 interview with Hammer by Consumer Reports. (Photo source and more on the invention.)

Edward Hammer, inventor of helical CFL bulb, has died, age 80. He maintained a neat podcast/blog until 2008. Here’s a fascinating 2008 interview with Hammer by Consumer Reports. (Photo source and more on the invention.)

Pondering Stewart Brand @longnow essay on merits of “not so fast” button: “Technologies with [the] property of perpetual self-accelerated development—sometimes termed “autocatalysis”—create conditions that are unstable, unpredictable and unreliable. And since these particular autocatalytic technologies drive whole sectors of society, there is a risk that civilization itself may become unstable, unpredictable and unreliable.” The rest.

Semi-related Dot Earth post: “On Pinwheels, Networks and Resilience.

GOP House move to protect 19th-century bulbs unlikely to have impact, say @jeffbingaman via @AndrewRestuccia @thehill More reaction to the maneuver from U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.):

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