Are We Raging At Our Own Ignorance Or Our Indifference To Science?

There has been a lot of anger about banks this week, this piece by Mathew Parris in Saturday’s Times is one of the more eloquent analyses of what is going on. Do you know what Libor is? Be honest. Can you unblushingly claim not just to have furrowed a studious brow over the little potted summaries in this week’s newspapers, …

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What Are Emerging Technologies For?

Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and re evaluate what we are doing and why, something my good friend Doug Mather of the Creation Company has been urging people to do for years. It is very easy, whether in science or in business to develop myopia or tunnel vision, concentrating so hard on one particular task or goal …

Of Wikileaks and Nanotech

Discussing the Wikileaks revelations in the context of internet security this morning perhaps shows the trajectory that other emerging technologies will follow. The Internet is not an emerging technology anymore, although many of its applications still are, but one of its key effects has been the shift of power from government and large organisations to the individual. Leaking hundreds of …

Predicting The Future And Keeping It Bright

I spent some time in the ever fascinating city of Geneva this week for some meetings with the World Economic Forum where, as always, we are trying to figure out what to do about the world right now while trying to understand how the future will look – hopefully better than the present is the short answer! One of the …

Redesigning Technologies For Risk Avoidance With The World Economic Forum

I spent last weekend in a rather hot Doha (Qatar), surrounded by Emirs, Queens, Princes and Prime Ministers at the World Economic Forums Global Redesign Initiative meeting. It’s an organization I have been involved with for the past six years, through both the Technology Pioneers program and the Global Redesign Initiative. As the world changes at an ever increasing pace, …

Democracy vs Emerging Technologies

I had a chat today with a US colleague who complained that all the journalistic attempts to derail nanotech just drive any commercial benefits of US research into the hands of the Russians & Chinese. Is that a price worth paying for democracy? Certainly my colleagues in more, ahem, regulated economies are quite happy to give up a small amount …

How Long Does It Take For Science To Reverse A PR Setback?

As an adjunct to my previous post, Science today reports on a new report from the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies (The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States) which seems to conclude that biotech crops are good for farmers and the environment, with the usual caveats and uncertainties of course. So fourteen …