Roundup 12/17: Food for Thought Edition

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology today announced the three topics for its first virtual research networks called Knowledge and Innovation Communities. The so-called KICs, each of which will include labs or centers from multiple countries, will tackle climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable energy and information, and communication technologies. Each KIC will get €3 million to launch itself and help draw up an annual budget, to be paid by the European Union, the various nations housing labs belonging to each KIC, and companies interested in the topics.

A conference next month sponsored by the Pentagon will explore how a computer might make "sense" of data to allow sophisticated decision making.

With news hard to come by in Copenhagen, the AP covers Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change head Rajendra Pachauri's vegetarianism, which the scientist says is carbon friendly." He doesn't just talk the talk, he chews the tofu," the AP writes.

A new study by the U.S. Army suggests that soldiers need at least 3 years at home between tours to maintain their mental health. It's raising questions about the wisdom of the Afghanistan surge, which will shorten the home stays of many military personnel.

Japan's $1.3 billion Next‑Generation Supercomputer development project has gotten a reprieve from budget cutters who wanted to zero out funding for the year beginning next April. Japanese media report that protests by Nobel Laureates helped the government change its mind and restore funding.