It is 30 years this month since the human immunodeficiency virus was unveiled in the journal Science. The anniversary will be marked by a conference on 21st to 23rd May, hosted by Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who won a Nobel prize for the co-discovery of HIV. The meeting, at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where she first isolated the virus with Luc Montagnier, is intended to look forward rather than back. HIV now affects almost one per cent of the world’s population and remains a life sentence.
The Global Research Council, a group of science funding agencies promoting cross-border research, kicks off its 2013 conference in Berlin on 27th May. This year’s summit will focus on how to ensure research integrity; it also looks likely to endorse open-access publishing as the preferred method of disseminating research results. Participating nations include the UK, US, Canada, China, Japan, Russia, India and Brazil.
With revelations about unconquerable viruses, climate change and asteroids, science columns can veer towards the apocalyptic. But should the worst happen, scramble around for a copy of Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction, by science blogger Annalee Newitz (Doubleday). Her much-anticipated survival handbook references underground cities of the past and space colonies of the future.