Position Papers are due on February 5th to be considered for the Best Position Paper Award, and February 12th to be considered for any committee award. Submit them to CSTD@bmun.org.
UN Committee on Science and technology for development (CSTD)
Head Chair | TJ Ford
Vice-Chairs | Michael McDonald
Topic 1 | Regulation of Biotechnology
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In the US, for the first time, human embryos have been genetically modified using CRISPR Cas9 technology. An algorithm derived from artificial intelligence is able to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in individuals five years before diagnosis. The first gene-altering treatment for leukemia, Kymriah, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. We live in an age where health and technology are inseparable, with unparalleled rates of discovery in unprecedented areas. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and with the power to genetically alter humans now in our capability and the sophistication of computational methods to diagnose and treat disease, we are faced with huge ethical and logistical questions to be answered.
Topic 2 | Regulation and the Information Economy
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In 2007, the number of Bits of information in the physical universe surpassed the number of stars in the physical universe. The sequencing of the human genome once took 10 years; it now takes approximately one week. Big Data affects every part of our lives, even if we might not be aware of its omnipresence. This is an era of immense data collection and creation, where information is so abundant and our computational power so high that we face one of the largest frameshifts in the global economy from manufacturing to knowledge. With this radical transformation, we are faced with multitudes of novel philosophical questions about how we should regulate and manage the proliferation of data as well as the private entities that build their livelihoods on information as an international community.