|Title||Top 10 Science and Technology News Items of 2020 (December 30, 2020)|
Top 10 Science and Technology News Items of 2020
The Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (hereinafter referred to as KOFST; President: Dr. Woo Il Lee) announced its “Top 10 Science and Technology News Items of the Year” for 2020. KOFST announced its selections following ① three votes by the selection committee (consisting of Chair, Dr. Min-Koo Han from the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and 24 other members) and ② incorporating results from online and mobile voting, involving a total of 15,332 people from the S&T community.
In an effort to raise public interest in science and technology, every year since 2005, the KOFST has selected and published 10 major science and technology news stories related to ① major research and development achievements and ② social issues. For the selection process, the selection committee, composed of S&T experts, deliberates both online and by mobile to evenly reflect the opinions of experts in science and technology and public interests.
This year, the largest number of people ever* participated in the national referendum for ranking the top 20 science and technology news items, revealing increased interest in science and technology. News related to the novel COVID-19 virus garnered an overwhelming 74.5 percent of the vote, indicating that the virus which shook the world had a significant impact on the national S&T community.
*Total online and mobile votes: 7,831 in 2019 -> 9,119 in 2019 -> 15,332 in 2020
For 2020, four “S&T Issues” and six “R&D Achievements” were selected for the top 10 science and technology news items.
In the “S&T Issues” category, the top news items were:
▲ The fast release of the K-Diagnostic Kit during the COVID-19 pandemic;
▲ The new ‘Digital and Eco-Friendly’ paradigm;
▲ The controversy over the decision to permanently suspend Wolseong Unit 1; and
▲ The 2050 carbon neutral declaration.
For the “R&D Achievement” category, the top items included:
▲ The development of a 3rd generation 10-nano DRAM that overcame global limits on minimum cell size;
▲ The world’s first mass production of heavy trucks operated by hydrogen electricity;
▲ Korea’s KSTAR maintaining 100 million ℃ for 20 seconds, breaking the world record;
▲ The world’s first COVID-19 gene mapping;
▲ The identification of mitochondrial mechanisms related to Parkinson’s disease and dementia brain disease; and
▲ The development of materials which are capable of blocking electromagnetic waves along with stealth technology.
KOFST stated that “participation in the 2020 referendum to select the ‘Top 20 Science and Technology News Items,’ which marks its 16th anniversary this year, was higher than ever. Looking at the news items that were nominated, key agenda that drew attention for society this year included the COVID-19 issue, which received overwhelming attention, as well as the hydrogen economy, carbon neutrality, and climate change. It is said that light has been shed on science and technology amid the pandemic crisis, which are expected to be the key driving force leading our nation through the post COVID-19 era.” The president of KOFST was also quoted as saying, “I hope that this inspires us to look around the S&T community, and encourage R&D sites and convey hope to the people through science and technology news in an exceptionally difficult year such as 2020.”
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