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Weekly: What’s next for science in 2024? A year of moons; weight-loss drugs; and a massive new supercomputer for Europe

New Scientist Podcasts

05-01-2024 • 30 mins

#231

It’s a new year and that means new science. But what (that we know so far) does 2024 hold?

On the space front, agencies around the world have as many as 13 missions to Earth’s moon, while Japan’s MMX mission will launch to take samples from the Martian moon Phobos. NASA will finally launch the Europa Clipper mission to explore Jupiter’s ocean-bearing moon.

On the technology front, Europe’s first ever exascale supercomputer, capable of performing billions of operations per second – only the third officially recognised such machine in the world, and an extraordinary tool for physicists, mathematicians and even AI development. Plus why we’re increasingly close to the time when quantum computers may break encryption as we know it.

And while 2023 was officially the hottest year on record, 2024 is poised to be even hotter, thanks to even higher concentrations of greenhouse gases and more months of El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean. How this combination should leave us expecting the unexpected when it comes to drought and rainfall, while nations grapple with the renewable energy and fossil fuel transition pledges they made at 2023’s COP28 climate summit.

And why the story isn’t over for hormone-mimicking weight loss injections like Ozempic and Wegovy – or the many similar drugs that are following close on their heels.

Host Christie Taylor discusses all of this and more with guests Leah Crane, Matthew Sparkes, James Dinneen and Clare Wilson. To read more about these stories, visit newscientist.com/2024preview.


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