Post by Gwilym Williams, Research Intern at ICSA
Tsai Ing-wen’s election as President of the Republic of China is an indication that the people of the country known to most people as Taiwan want a change of direction from their leaders. From being defeated by the incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou four years ago, Tsai has now been elected with a sizeable majority, having received 56% of the vote, with her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also taking control of the Legislative Yuan. While this clearly demonstrates a new trajectory for the island nation, it remains to be seen what the consequences of this election result and long-term effects for relations in the region will be.
PRIDE, or PyRoprocess-Integrated inactive DEmonstration facility, (as a typically forced example of an industrial acronym) is a nuclear reprocessing pilot facility in South Korea. It is not a secret facility: Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the IAEA has visited the facility in person and the safeguards for the facility are being developed with IAEA cooperation.
Yukiya Amano Inspecting a hot box inside the PRIDE facility in 2013.
If mishandled, there is a very real danger that progressive scientific technology could have disastrous societal impacts. Of particular concern is gain-of-function research. A well-established methodology in microbiology and genetics, its application to infectious disease agents with pandemic potential has been called into serious question. My blog will briefly explore the importance of this technical issue, the associated biosafety and biosecurity risks and conclude with key policy considerations for making the most of the technology.