Santa Claus Says For 2022
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After a year filled with unprecedented challenges and uncertainty, experts hope lessons learned from 2021 can prepare us for a stabler 2022. But professors across Northwestern University say to expect the year’s highs and lows to follow us into the new year.

In 2022, we will move more to the endemic phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, where we continue to learn to live with the virus.

Travel will continue but will likely required more rapid testing, especially when crossing borders

The vaccinated are losing their patience with having to take so many steps to protect the unvaccinated.

We are experiencing shortages and delays in supply chains since every entity is highly utilized. The global shipping industry is not able to keep up with the surge in the demand, the ports are congested, companies are struggling with labor shortages, and some are shutting down due to workers protesting work conditions. In normal conditions supply chains can possibly absorb these shocks if they occur sporadically, but when these disruptions happen simultaneously even the best-in-class supply chains will suffer. With highly utilized supply chains or processes, even the smallest shock to the system can lead to disproportionate consequences that ripple throughout the chain.

Human-caused climate change is here and society must choose a path forward – mitigate, adapt or suffer.

We are expecting an explosion of activity in artificial intelligence for areas beyond what we typically associate it with, including newsworthy advances in synthetic biology and the creation of new medicines. But the most significant advances may come through deploying AI to address the materials genome. To meet our ambitions for clean energy and zero emissions, we need materials for fuel cells and catalysts with unprecedented power and capabilities – materials that don’t exist today. And AI, when trained on the appropriate data sets, can direct us to structures with the properties we need.” 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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