What Science is Going on in 2021?

What scientific developments should I look forward to in 2021?!

Approximate Read Time: 3 minutes!


1. Tackling Global Warming
  • US President-elect, Joe Biden, plans to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement to help the US take steps towards combating climate change
  • In November 2021, the United Nations’ climate conference will take place in Glasgow, UK, where countries will make pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions
  • The European Union and China plan to become carbon neutral (balance between emitting and absorbing carbon) by the 2050s; hopefully, other countries will follow

2. Plan S: an Open-access Resource for Science Publications
  • As the result of a 2 year endeavor, 20+ research funding organizations will push for the publication of scholarly articles that are free to read!

3. An Update to Stem Cell Guidelines
  • For the first time since 2016, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) will update their guidelines
  • One such update involves studying embryo-like structures produced from stem cells, which may shed light on why many early pregnancies end in a miscarriage 

4. Missions to Mars
  • In February 2021, China’s Tianwen-1 mission is planning to touch down on Mars! The mission will search for signs of life on the red planet. 
  • Spacecraft sent by the US and the United Arab Emirates will arrive at Mars around the same time

5. The James Webb Space Telescope
  • The launch of NASA’s James Webb has been long-awaited
  • The telescope will orbit Earth and study stars, exoplanets, and more!
  • The James Webb will expand upon the work of NASA’s earlier Hubble Telescope, which helped classify an abundance of objects

6. The Search for the Coronavirus Origin
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) will continue its investigation into the origin and the spread of COVID-19
  • Hopefully, this investigation will shed light on viral spreads
  • NOTE: The WHO’s investigation has become a politically-challenging journey, as political powers in the US and China have argued over the origin of the virus

7. Protecting our Oceans
  • In 2021, the United Nations (UN) is planning to finalize treaties to protect marine life in ocean territory that lies beyond nations’ sovereign waters

Read more (sources)!
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03651-0
  2. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/12/science-stories-likely-make-headlines-2021 
  3. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20190926STO62270/what-is-carbon-neutrality-and-how-can-it-be-achieved-by-2050 
Image sources:
  1. https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/goddard/2017/james-webb-space-telescope-mirror-seen-in-full-bloom/ 

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