Mind change: Some thoughts on the moral implications of metaphors

This quick post was prompted by Andrew Anthony’s article in The Observer on Susan Greenfield’s forthcoming book Mind Change and subsequent exchanges on twitter. Some background Metaphors are essential to the development of science and indispensable to science communication. I have been fascinated by metaphor for a long time, well before I became fascinated by …

Moving Responsible Innovation Upstream: GM insects and the exclusion of alternatives

‘Responsible innovation’ was the focus of an earlier post by a colleague of mine, Sujatha Raman, who argued that the concept needs to be linked to a range of policy mechanisms to become more ‘policy relevant’. I’d like to explore this idea further. While framed as a concept that has the potential to shape the …

‘Energy for All’ and the Challenge of Responding to People’s Needs

GUEST POST BY DANIELLE GENT, LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY Meet Doña Maria.  She is a mother, housewife, agricultural worker and shop-keeper, who lives with her two daughters in a rural community, located approximately 30 kilometres from Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua.  Until recently, she was one of 1.4 billion people on this planet without access to electricity. That …

3D printing: When science and technology take us by surprise

3D printing (or ‘additive’ or ‘digital manufacturing’) has been around for a while (and we’ll see for how long further on in this post); even 4D printing has been around for a while. However, 3D printing only really came into focus for me quite recently, when I came across the metaphors ‘3D printer of life’ …

Jules Verne: Making science visual

On Christmas Eve I had a chance encounter on twitter and the result is this blog post, or rather: essay. Richard Ashcroft had retweeted a tweet about a book by Adam Roberts. The book retells Jules Verne’s story of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea and contains new illustrations by Mahendra Singh. I have now …

It might not be cricket, but it is cricket

The first test match of the 2013 series between England and Australia was, undoubtedly, a great match and a credit to the players of both teams. From my perspective as part of the Making Science Public programme, however, it was also interesting for the role that technology played in the controversy and excitement of the …