News in Digest: Leftfield or firm foot forward? - The Post

News in Digest: Leftfield or firm foot forward?

Is the new government on the ball regarding science, or is it just going through the motions?

Try telling this bull to give up his land! (photo: Pixabay)
November 10th, 2019 5:24 pm| by Ben Hamilton

The new left-wing government and its allies have been busy demonstrating they are in touch with the demands of the modern world, and nowhere has this been clearer than in the realm of science and technology.

Politicians have been falling over one another to express reviews relating to agriculture, health, climate, education and food – but how much of it is prescribed wisdom, and how much of it is pie in the sky?

AI: serious pledge
The government is investing 67 million kroner into eight AI projects focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of serious and life-threatening diseases – most notably cancer.

“This is not just about increased efficiency and smoother workflows for employees – it can actually have a direct impact on whether patients survive a critical illness or not,” explained the health minister, Magnus Heunicke.

Verdict: Sounds serious

Arable land goal
Radikale wants to convert one third of Denmark’s farmland into nature by 2050 – by asking farmers to volunteer and paying for the land by raising the corporate tax rate for the financial sector.

Ida Auken, the party’s spokesperson for climate issues, reckons 1 billion kroner is needed a year, as “one of the things that really works is taking land out of service, especially the vulnerable soils”.

Verdict: Volunteerism never works

Detecting dyslexia
Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil, the minister of children and education, wants kids to be tested for dyslexia in kindergarten. Current provisions tend to favour the third grade for testing – the point when most children have attained a reasonable reading proficiency – but the track record isn’t good.

The government also intends to adapt dyslexia tests for children and young people with Danish as a second language.

Verdict: Running before walking

Honey we’re home!
The food minister, Mogens Jensen, wants to remove the Danish flag from foreign honey jars, as it is “misleading Danish consumers”.

He intends to ask the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to change the guidelines on manufacturers starting from 2020. A similar practice recently took place in Sweden.

Verdict: Spread the news!