Read the fall 2021 issue of Popular Science

There’s an app on my iPhone known as ColorScanner. It’s a instrument designed to seize and duplicate real-world hues so you possibly can seek advice from them later—maybe to discover a matching shade of paint. However I exploit it a bit in another way. I’m an achromat (that’s, I see all the pieces in tones of grey), and I open the app once I’m buying to test the tinge of something from shirts to rugs.

It’s a workaround I found out alone, a technique to navigate a world not designed for grayscale peepers like mine. To be honest, it’s additionally not an issue most individuals would even notice wants fixing. Except, in fact, they’re the sort who appears at issues barely askance. An individual, maybe, like Stacy Branham. One of many early-career scientists honored on this challenge as considered one of PopSci’s Brilliant 10, she applies tech in novel methods to enhance accessibility. Most of the time, she argues, the options to our issues have already been invented—we simply have to ask the suitable questions.

Branham’s mission just isn’t solely a poignant one for me, it’s additionally an instance of the ethos driving this whole challenge: There’s loads we will study from being endlessly inquisitive—dare I say “childlike”? It’s not that long-held notions concerning the knowledge of elders are fallacious, however extra that they’re deleteriously one-sided, usually casting the younger as reckless hotshots. Let’s as a substitute consider them as mavericks. Change brokers. Bar raisers.

This assortment of tales highlights intelligent methods of considering that assault a few of our hardest issues from new angles. Sarah Scoles appears inside a camp educating center schoolers the best way to banish bias from synthetic intelligence. Gulnaz Khan showcases the upstart metropolises creating blueprints for urbanity in every single place. And Yasmin Tayag argues that, while you sit down and take a look at the info, any would-be battle between the generations seems to be a load of BS.

Then there are the 9 researchers in Branham’s cohort, whose collective work may, amongst different feats, scrub “without end chemical compounds” from consuming water, pace most cancers surgical procedure, nix deepfakes, and create a richly detailed 3D map of the universe. This group of innovators marks a brand new starting for the Good 10 awards after a five-year hiatus. We determined to revive the franchise now as a sorely wanted reminder of all of the vigorous progress already taking form proper below our noses. How novel!

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