Plus, the 2020 MacArthur Foundation fellows, Silicon Valley’s empty, billion-dollar headquarters, and more design-tech news from the week.
Silicon Valley’s tech giants were notorious for attracting talent with state-of-the-art amenities—slides, bikes, free food—and high-end design. But many employees are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a return to “normal” office life looks more unlikely with each day. So what will happen to all these tech headquarters, wonders tech reporter Heather Kelly in The Washington Post. [The Washington Post]
Researchers from the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K. report that countries wanting to lower emissions in a sustainable and cost-effective manner should prioritize renewable energy over nuclear energy. By analyzing energy data from the World Bank and the International Energy Agency for 123 countries over 25 years, the researchers discovered that renewables (which reliably lead to lower carbon emissions), and nuclear energy (which does not) are “incompatible” pursuits, according to a press release from the university. [University of Sussex]
Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s 1961 moonshot speech, the Earthshot Prize aims “to incentivize change and help to repair our planet over the next 10 years,” according to its website. To celebrate the launch of the £50 million (approximately $65 million) prize, the organization released a video featuring broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. [Earthshot Prize]