What to expect in 2019: Science in the new year

What to expect in 2019: science in the new year

In January, US and UK researchers will descend on Antarctica to begin their largest joint mission to the continent in more than 70 years. The aim of the five-year project is to understand whether the remote and seemingly unstable Thwaites Glacier will start to collapse in the next few decades.

  1. China could emerge as the world’s biggest spender on research and development.
  2. More fossils illuminating the origins of ancient hominin species could emerge from islands in southeast Asia.
  3. It could be a make-or-break year for plans to build a successor to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
  4. Geneticists will continue to deal with the repercussions of 2018’s claim by He Jiankui to have helped produce the world’s first gene-edited babies.
  5. Plan S, the effort to flip scholarly publications to a fully open-access model.
  6. The World Health Organization expects to finish a major revision of its Laboratory Biosafety Manual in mid-2019.
  7. As carbon emissions continue to rise, 2019 could see the first experiments that are explicitly aimed at understanding how to artificially cool the planet using a practice called solar geoengineering.
  8. Researchers in Canada should start to see the first results from a flurry of studies into the cultivation and basic biology of cannabis.
  9. The world’s largest radio telescope — China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope — should be fully operational and available to researchers from September.

Opinion: Five things even Trump critics can give him credit for

Video: 71-year-old man is trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a barrel