The N8 Northern Universities Seem To Prefer Stotties To Spin Outs

The recent N8 report “The Power of 8” by a group of 8 northern English Universities (Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) is wonderfully bombastic but also illustrates what is wrong with university technology transfer and how little they understand about the real world. Despite all the big numbers –  the 8 Universities have calculated that they …

A Form Of Mindfulness for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

There’s no magic bullet, but having the right tools and methodology helps a lot. I have written before about the IDEA3 methodology developed by the MIT M+Vision consortium and how it helps make everything more efficient. But finally we have the video explaining it. In the movie I talk about creating agents of change, something I know all about from personal experience. …

Coffee, Petit Fours and Smashing Things to Atoms

After a start at the 2011 Malvern Festival of Innovation my alternative career as an after dinner speaker is blooming this year. Rather than trotting out statistics about nanotechnology, entrepreneurship or discussing the innovation gap which I do in the day job, the after dinner circuit likes something a bit more entertaining. Fortunately I have plenty of material including Landing …

Take Your Dad To School And Make A Mess

One of the great pleasures of having kids is being able to contribute to their education which I did last week at “Bring Your Dad to School Day” and ‘Whoopee – we were doing science. The lesson that morning was about which things dissolve and which don’t and why. The children were given a variety of materials, sand, sugar, salt, …

nanoSMILE Raises Few Laughs

My thanks to my colleague who masquerades as “The Nanoclast” for bringing nanoSMILE to my attention. Try to imagine a FP6 (or an FP7, for that matter) European Union (EU) project on the risks of nanomaterials first translated into a website that is supposed to be simplified language for the layman and then translated again via an online translator into …

UK Government Rebrands Arts As ‘Science’ To Fiddle The Figures

Part of the problem in engaging the general public about science is widespread scientific illiteracy. It doesn’t help when the UK Government doesn’t seem to have a clue what science is! According to this report The Government now includes as “science”, courses such as nutrition and complementary medicine, geography studies, sports science, nursing and psychology, even though in dozens of …

Europe Searches For A Chief Scientist

The European Union, or is that the European Commission, or maybe it’s just it’s President, well whoever it is wants to appoint a Chief Scientist for the European Commission/Union/etc but it’s unclear exactly why. The candidate should “be able to make a television appearance the moment something scientifically important happens — such as an outbreak of infectious disease, or when …

I’m Jonathan Miller And I Want To Know Why!

As expected, Jonathan Miller’s talk reflecting on “the biology of design didn’t disappoint, and was a object lesson in science communication. As a non biologist (my background is mainly physics, materials, surface science, music and finance) I found it fascinating, informative and quite inspiring. As Miller is a celebrated theatre director, scientist, author and a host of other things, the …