Year-end takeaway: 10 sci-tech long reads to inspire you over Christmas

16 Dec 201614 Shares

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Curated to inspire you during Christmas and into 2017, 10 essential long reads from the year in sci-tech. Image: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

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From start-ups, space travel and broadband, to art, diversity and cannabis, here are 10 long reads from all the important areas in the sci-tech world this year.

1. The future of banking: Messy, but great for the customer

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

Never before have customers interacted with their banks so often, with account management but a touch of a thumb away. But what are banks doing with all the data they have collected, and what does it mean for me and you?

2. Failure is not cool: Start-up founders reveal their hardest lessons

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

The majority of start-ups won’t succeed. And behind the glossy exits and funding rounds are mistakes, self-doubt, broken friendships and crippling anxiety, writes John Kennedy.

3. How to build a unicorn: Drew Houston, Dropbox

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

Named as one of MIT Technology Review’s top innovators under 35, Dropbox co-founder Drew Houston sat down with Ann O’Dea for an in-depth chat by a digital fireside.

4. How an engineer discovered the fine art of research

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

Tyndall National Institute’s artist in residence, Angela Gilmour, discusses how she came to realise that science is just as creative as the arts.

5. From phones to the human body, micropower will power us all

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

For decades, we’ve focused on making technology faster and more capable. Now, as we power through the 21st century, we are realising our future lies in micropower.

6. Ireland merely returning to its medicinal cannabis roots

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes in Ireland is edging closer to reality, completing a 177-year 360-degree pivot that, thanks to one man, changed western medicine.

7. ‘Diversity makes us smarter and more innovative,’ says Accenture’s Ellyn Shook

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

“Do you believe that your voice has the power to change the world? I do. I have the unwavering belief that every single person can use their voice to help close the gender gap.”

8. The Dead Mathematicians Society: Help Newton and Boole solve a maths puzzle

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

We sat with some dead mathematicians to help them solve a fun maths problem.

9. How Starshot will get us to Alpha Centauri in 20 years

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

Travelling into the darkest depths of the universe could soon be as easy as flicking on a switch, or at least a switch for a giant laser system that will fire a spacecraft at 150m kmph to Alpha Centauri.

10. No more dancing at the crossroads for National Broadband Plan

Year-end takeaway: 10 long-reads to inspire you through Christmas

The people are not interested in mixed signals around Ireland’s National Broadband Plan. They want to be connected, and they want to be connected now, says John Kennedy.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com