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[自然杂志].Nature.-.June.9.2011.pdf

[自然杂志].Nature.-.June.9.2011.pdf

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简介:本文档为《[自然杂志].Nature.-.June.9.2011pdf》,可适用于文学艺术领域,主题内容包含THISWEEKEVOLUTIONHowskunksgivefairwarningpWORLDVIEWGiftsthatcomewithideolo符等。

THIS WEEK EVOLUTION How skunks give fair warning p.131 WORLD VIEW Gifts that come with ideological strings p.129 NUCLEAR POWER It’s time for research into alternatives p.128 Cyberwarfare challenge National cybersecurity plans should go beyond the cold-war mentality of an arms race and focus more on linking traditional computer security with protections for industrial control systems. scientific pursuit and government support. Experts point to the need to go beyond the current generation of signature-based anti-virus soft- ware. And scientists bemoan the lack of access to good data — in this case viruses — that are needed to help them conduct research. Then there’s the need to bridge the gap between traditional computer security and research into industrial-control-system security. Despite those challenges, the US govern- ment has no clear research agenda, or even research community, that focuses on cyber- security. This problem could be tackled in many ways, but the first step might be to create a national research plan for cybersecurity, appointing a lead agency that would coordinate research, and perhaps even funding centres of excellence at various universities to encourage interdisciplinary research. Stuxnet is proof that governments can — when they so choose — bring together different branches of research and bridge the gap between computer-security researchers and the industrial-control- system-security community. If governments can do this to create cyberweapons, they should be equally capable of driving research into cyberdefence. If anyone needs proof that a cyber arms race is in the making, they need look no further than last week’s news headlines. In the United States, the Pentagon is expected soon to release a report — or at least an unclassified version of a report — describing how the US gov- ernment might respond to a cyberattack that causes physical damage. One option, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, might be to forgo the subtlety of a cyberresponse, and drop bombs on a sus- pected attacker. Similarly, in an editorial in The Guardian last week, UK defence minister Nick Harvey revealed the creation of a cyber operations group that would place cyberwarfare on a footing similar to conven- tional military operations. “Cyber will be part of a continuum of tools with which to achieve military effect, both defensive and otherwise, and will be an integral part of our armoury,” Harvey wrote. It is now nearly a year since the alert was first raised about Stuxnet, the malicious software, or malware, that targeted Iran’s nuclear pro- gramme. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that governments are now coming forward with plans for cyberwar. Yet the intensive push for cyberweapons only highlights a glaring gap in openly funded research for cyberdefence. Indeed, Stuxnet, possibly the first truly government- backed cyberweapon, was eventually defused not by military cyber warriors, but by private researchers (see page 142). Stuxnet is clearly a game-changer, demonstrating an ability to target a cyberattack on a grand scale. The subsequent call for the develop- ment of cyberweapons sounds very much like the cold-war push to build ever larger nuclear arsenals — and no doubt claims of cyber- weaponry gaps will arise. In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is waging a campaign to engage anybody working with a computer. Governments, it is clear, will have responsibilities to protect infrastructure and installations, but private companies and individuals will be expected to take increasing responsibility for their own and therefore everybody else’s protection. There is a real and profound public vulnerability that should moti- vate countries to invest in cybersecurity research: the antiquated state of security for industrial control systems, which makes even the most- developed countries as vulnerable as Iran to a Stuxnet-like attack. It is not just the power plants or the electricity grid that are at risk. In the United States, for example, the water industry is particularly vulnerable, according to experts. Run by small organizations, highly fragmented and with few resources to invest in security, the nation’s water supply is an inviting target for attack. The food industry, not traditionally the focus of public concerns about cybersecurity, is another soft spot. Most people don’t realize that programmable logic controllers, the devices targeted by Stuxnet, are used to run the heavily automated food-packaging industry. And the Stuxnet history shows that however isolated in cyberspace the target is, there is still a major threat of a spread to any system controlled by software. On the research side, Stuxnet highlights several challenges worthy of “Stuxnet is proof that governments can bring together different branches of research.” Second chances Leaders must end a run of unmet pledges when they meet to discuss sustainable development. Next June, world leaders will gather in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Earth Summit 2012, to discuss (again) how to steer the planet towards a more sustainable future. The gathering marks the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, at which heads of state agreed on a set of principles intended to guide sustainable global economic growth — including the precept that environmental protec- tion should be central to development. Little progress has been made on this in the two decades since the summit. Rather, countries have continued to pursue relatively unre- stricted economic development, with limited attempts to minimize environ mental impacts. So, will next year’s summit do any better? Those who attend will be forced to confront a string of failures to meet international green goals, including a pledge to stem the loss of biodiversity by 2010 — as agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity — and to set new binding targets to reduce greenhouse-gas 9 J U N E 2 0 1 1 | V O L 4 7 4 | N A T U R E | 1 2 7 EDITORIALS 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved NATURE.COM To comment online, click on Editorials at: go.nature.com/xhunqv Misspent energy The crisis at Fukushima Daiichi should spark a rethink of nuclear-research programmes. Three months after a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan, the world is taking a hard look at nuclear power. Last week, Germany said that it would close all of its 17 nuclear plants. Switzerland has also announced its with- drawal from the nuclear arena. Other nations remain committed for now but, in the West, hopes for a nuclear renaissance seem moribund. Nevertheless, global energy needs continue to rise. By 2020, the world’s electricity demand will have increased by 35–40%, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris. Without nuclear power, many nations will struggle to meet that demand, especially if they cut back on fossil fuels to reduce the effects of climate change. Germany hopes to make up its shortfall through an increase in renew- able energy sources and a 10% reduction in energy consumption. New technologies could help to meet these targets. Yet in 2009, the latest date for which IEA figures are available, Germany spent US$246 million on nuclear research — roughly what it did on research into renewables and energy efficiency combined. In Japan, which continues to be plagued by energy shortages from Fukushima’s shutdown, the US$2.7-billion nuclear-research budget was six times the energy-efficiency budget. Many of these research programmes began in the 1950s and 60s, when fission reactors seemed to be the first step on the road to a nuclear future. Technical challenges, the enormous expense of fis- sion power and the risks associated with meltdowns have made that road seem much longer today than it did 50 years ago. Some nuclear investments seem more questionable following the Fukushima crisis and potential gaps in energy provision. Should Japan spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advanced breeder reactors when its plans for conventional ones are on hold? Should Germany continue its sizeable national programme in nuclear fusion, a distant and difficult technology, when its fission reactors are being shut down? Meanwhile, the threat from climate change grows ever larger, and there is a pressing need for research to help reduce it. More efficient building design could drastically reduce energy consumption, and materials research is needed to drive down the cost of solar panels. New technologies must be developed and integrated into a more robust electricity grid if renewable power is to be efficiently distributed. However, in many nations, the research is under-supported. A 2010 IEA analysis found shortfalls in all energy research except fission. Even a small shift from nuclear to other areas could make a big difference. None of this means that nations should abandon fission. Exist- ing nuclear plants continue to provide cheap, carbon-free energy, and some nations, notably China, have decided that, despite safety concerns, nuclear fission is key to expanding their economies while reducing carbon emissions. Nor does it mean that all nuclear research should be abandoned. Indeed, some of it seems prescient, given the recent disaster: research into nuclear waste disposal will undoubtedly inform the ongoing clean-up at Fukushima (see page 135). And research into conven- tional light-water reactors could lead to safety improvements. Other endeavours, such as reactors that can produce medical isotopes, stand on their own merits. But conventional fission is a mature technology. Today’s reactor designs are safer and more efficient than those from the Fukushima Daiichi era. They are the ones that countries will build. More advanced reactor designs may be necessary one day, but for now they seem a very expensive dream. Cheaper areas of research could have a bigger impact in the short term. In a world with finite resources, and serious energy and environmental crises on the way, it is time to rethink research priorities. emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Cli- mate Change. The chances of meeting the UN’s Millennium Devel- opment Goals to halve poverty by 2015 look equally unpromising. It does not help that the UN has been lacklustre in its preparations for the Rio summit. A panel of senior politicians and business heads has been put to work to draw up a plan (again) for global sustainable growth that will set the agenda for much of the discussion. But the panel was announced only last August, and it is not clear that such an important task can be completed in so little time. Still, many scientists and environmental economists remain hopeful. Last month, Nature joined a group of 17 Nobel laureates in Stockholm as they drew up their own vision of the key challenges to sustainable development. Given the size of the task, the mood was surprisingly upbeat. Central to the proposals that the group came up with was the need (again) to change the mindset of world leaders. Rather than keeping to the traditional view that economic develop- ment and environmental conservation sit in opposition, the laureates stressed that continued damage to factors such as biodiversity, soil quality and indigenous people’s land rights will increasingly affect economic growth. There are encouraging signs that, in some places, the necessary change in attitudes is under way. For example, late last month at the Global Energy Partnership in Rome, 23 governments agreed on holistic indicators to assess the sustainable production and use of bio energy. These include the price and supply of food and the net creation of jobs, as well as water quality and greenhouse-gas emis- sions. The current biofuel fiasco, in which policies on the use of such fuels have been introduced ahead of the proper checks and balances, could have been avoided had these wider factors been given proper consideration. Similarly, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Develop ment in Paris has launched the Your Better Life Index, a tool to evaluate livelihoods using indicators that go beyond gross domestic product. They include housing, environment, safety and work–life balance. As the Nobel laureates noted, such welfare indicators are needed to account properly for natural capital and the social aspects of progress in economic decisions. Governance remains a major issue with the implementation of environmental goals. Part of the reason that the 1992 Earth Sum- mit failed to have the hoped-for impact was that no international body was given responsibility to monitor and enforce its decisions. This remains the case, but sug- gestions on how to change the situation are maturing. Brice Lalonde, coordinator of the Rio summit, told a meeting in Brussels on 25 May that he wants to see the World Trade Organization’s environmental remit strengthened, so that it can police any new global agreement. Others would prefer to see a beefed-up UN Environment Programme collaborate more with other relevant UN and international bodies. There could even be a role for the UN Security Council. Political realities, or what are still viewed as political realities, remain a huge obstacle to sustainable development. But for those willing to listen, the global community now has at least a wider and more thor- ough understanding of the scale of the environmental problems it faces. This may yet spur political will to ensure that the Rio summit, and wider discussion on the vital decisions that it represents, are not a waste of time (again). “Continued damage to factors such as biodiversity will increasingly affect economic growth.” 1 2 8 | N A T U R E | V O L 4 7 4 | 9 J U N E 2 0 1 1 EDITORIALSTHIS WEEK 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 carol 高亮 NATURE.COM Discuss this article online at: go.nature.com/k9jafo Beware of gifts that come at too great a cost Danger lurks for state universities when philanthropy encroaches on academic independence, warns Sheldon Krimsky. America’s public universities risk compromising their autonomy and better judgement when, faced with major budget deficits from declining taxpayer revenue, they grasp at opportunities to land external funding from private donors. The financial landscape makes institutions vulnerable to ideological predators who, under the cloak of philanthropy, wish to take control of what is taught and by whom. The issue has been highlighted by the recent controversy over the 2008 decision by Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee to accept US$1.5 million from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation in Arlington, Virginia. Like many public universities, FSU has found it harder to attract high-level faculty members in a financial landscape dominated by state budget cuts, an economic downturn that has hit endowments, and limits placed on tuition fees. The Koch foundation is an example of private philanthropy with an ideology. Its billionaire founder, Charles Koch, is an advocate of mini- malist government (a vestige of a nineteenth- century-style free-market economic system), personal responsibility in lieu of social safety nets, privately financed education, and an end to the government-run social-security system. Koch and his brother David have been among the leading funders of the libertarian Tea Party and support its organizations and political candidates. Let’s be clear. It is not unusual for private donors to support university faculty positions in certain fields. But the FSU case is remarkable for the strings that came attached to the money. I have examined many such agreements, but the one that FSU signed with the Koch foundation breaks troubling new ground. First, and most publicly discussed, the univer- sity agreed to give the foundation the authority to decide the selection criteria used to fill the economics faculty positions that it paid for, and the right to veto candidates of whom it did not approve. This agreement is a marked departure from the well-established separation between private academic philanthropy and faculty hiring decisions. The university insists that it was aware of the threat to its independ- ence, and was prepared to pull out of the agreement if it felt that its integrity was being undermined by outside influence. It says that the two academics subsequently appointed and funded under the agreement were its choices. Yet it accepts that the contract presents the appearance of outside influence, and says it is now reviewing its decision to sign it. In my view, the university was at the very least naive, and at most it turned a blind eye to a compromising agreement. FSU should tear the deal up and hand back the cash. This is no idle academic exercise, and there are more problems with the deal than who gets to decide who is hired. The stated objective of the FSU–Koch agree- ment, of which I have a copy, is “to advance the understanding and practice of those free voluntary processes and principles that promote social progress, human well-being, individual freedom, opportunity and prosperity based on the rule of law, con- stitutional government, private property, and the laws, regulations, organizations, institutions and social norms upon which they rely”. The phrase of most concern is the “practice of those free voluntary processes and principles”. Students of political economics will recognize similar phrasing in the nineteenth-century anarchist writings of Peter Kropotkin and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Neither classical anarchists nor radical libertarians have any use for strong central authorities that oversee social-welfare programmes. I see no problem with funding pro- fessorships in the study of classical anarchism or twenty-first-century libertarianism, any more than I would with funding a Marxist scholar. But the autonomy of the university is transgressed when the criteria for funding seek to advance the practice of a political ideology. According to the agreement, performance objectives for the programme will be reviewed by a three-member advisory board, chosen by the Koch foundation, which will monitor the perfor- mance of faculty members and check whether they remain true to the programme’s mission. The agreement also states that “Individuals holding the sponsored professorship positions will be treated similarly to all other FSU faculty of similar rank”. Really? It is inconceivable that the faculty handbook of FSU or any other state university uses “advancement of the practice” of a political ideology to measure academic success. The agreement also stipulates that an “Under- graduate Political Economy Committee” should be set up in the FSU economics department, with one outside member chosen by the foundation. The purpose of this committee is to shape the undergraduate curriculum to ensure that it meets the goals of the agreement. These conditions are unacceptable at any respectable university. Let there be no mistake: the controversy over the FSU–Koch agree- ment is not about the diversity of views on economics at America’s universities. It is not even, as the university likes to portray, about whether it hired the staff it wanted to. It is about the wider threat to the independence and autonomy of academic appointments, and the proper boundaries between philanthropy and a university’s choices about faculty and curriculum. Compromising these values, even under conditions of financial exigency, will turn a university against itself and corrupt its integral value to

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