Science and Technology Innovation – looking to the future

The final part of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Nine months ago, I embarked on an ambitious project to flesh out the ideas presented in a seminar given at the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford.  The seminar was titled ““Rethinking science and technology innovation: ...

Riding the wave: Rethinking science & technology policy

Part 8 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Much to my embarrassment, I’ve just realized that it was over four months ago that I wrote the previous blog in this series – a series that was supposed to evolve over just a few weeks!  Most inconveniently, other priorities ended ...

Confluence: Where communication, coupling and control collide

Part 7 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Yesterday, I listened to respected economists discussing geoengineering; gave a Skype interview on nanotechnology from the comfort of my own home; and watched as reactions to Michael Jackson’s death spread through virtual web-based communities.  Twenty years ago, when Jackson was at ...

Nanoscale control: Leveraging biology

Part 6 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century The story so far: We are facing an unprecedented confluence of three factors that are forcing us to rethink how we develop and use science and technology to the benefit of society.  Coupling between our action’s and the Earth’s re-actions is ...

Control at the nanoscale: Smallness, strangeness and sophistication

Part 5 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century Last time in this series of occasional blogs, I made the rather bold statement that while science and technology are going to have a highly visible impact on our lives over the next few decades, progress is going to be underpinned ...

Control: Gaining mastery over the world at the finest level

Part 4 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century So far in this series of occasional blogs, I’ve covered coupling and communication—two of three “C’s” which together are challenging how science and technology are best used to serve society.  Now it’s the time to delve into the third “C”—control. Because ...

Communication: Science and technology in a connected world

Part 3 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century I’m fascinated by the power of communication.  The idea that someone’s perceptions and actions can be changed by information received through sight, sound or touch, is rather profound.  Even more so is the idea that, through exchanging information and ideas, people ...

Coupling: Actions and consequences in a shrinking world

Part 2 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century In the previous post in this series I introduced the idea of the three “C’s:” Coupling Communication and Control—three factors that together challenge conventional ideas on how science and technology are best developed and used within society.  Following on from that ...

Science, technology and the three “C’s:” Communication, Coupling and Control

Part 1 of a series on rethinking science and technology for the 21st century We live in a crowded, science and technology-dependent word.  And things aren’t getting any better!  The global population is currently around 6.8 billion.  Over the next four years it’s projected to grow to over 7 billion.  And by 2050, the US ...

Rethinking science and technology for the 21st century

Like it or not, society is dependent on science and technology.  The only way we can cram 6 billion people plus onto the earth and use resources at the rate we do, is through the support of scientific discovery and technology innovation.  Take our technology-based infrastructure away and civilization as we know it would collapse. ...