A new study published in Science brings scientists one step closer to developing a lithium-air battery, which could someday be lighter and last longer than the lithium-ion batteries currently found in cell phones, laptops, and hybrid cars.
Lithium-air batteries are a hot area of investigation—a handful of research institutions and companies are currently exploring the technology for use in vehicles. However, the technology is in its infancy and many challenges to a practical rechargeable lithium-air battery remain.
Fossil fuels provide about 80% of the world’s energy and, despite dire predictions since the early 20th century, supplies will not run out any time soon, according to speakers at a AAAS discussion on meeting global energy demand.
“Oil is good for 50 years at current consumption rates, [and] could be extended longer as you go to more difficult resources,” said Steven E. Koonin, under secretary for science at the U.S. Department of Energy. “Coal—there are hundreds of years.”
The AAAS Board of Directors has adopted a statement on the human right to the benefits of science, pledging to help get scientists more involved in an ongoing global effort to clarify the meaning of that right.
The right to enjoy the benefits and applications of scientific progress was first internationally recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.