Way upstream

As Richard mentioned, I’ll be helping with the Ideas Factory and the blog. As a starter, I’ve just posted the following to the Demos blog… Next week, I will be a mentor at the EPSRC’s ‘Ideas Factory’ on Software Control of Matter. This takes me way upstream and puts me among a diverse group of scientists, who are coming together to consider how to approach an esoteric problem with potentially massive implications – building stuff nano-bit by nano-bit. The EPSRC, who distribute the engineering and physics part of the UK’s science budget, have set aside money to fund the proposals that are produced.

For the last year, we at Demos have been doing what we call ‘experiments in public engagement.’ We have been bringing together new groups of people to open up debates about the means and ends of nanotechnology research and development. The fascinating thing about the Ideas Factory for me is that it is an experiment in funding science, as well as being an experiment with a new form of conversation about science. Scientists, like any group, spend much of their time hanging out with, talking to, reading and reading about people with narrowly similar interested. What will happen when people are brought together from different disciplines, cultures, places and languages? Who knows? I can’t wait.

Jack Stilgoe
Ideas Factory Mentor

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