The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cockermouth Cafe Sci

Tomorrow (Tuesday 12 Oct) evening I'm doing a gig at Cockermouth Cafe Scientifique, on 'The Synthetic Kingdom'. My pitch:
Craig Ventner's creation of a bacterium with a synthetic genome is a technological breakthrough. But the first response of many was to warn against hubris or hype. Neither warning is justified. We should 'play God', and hype is -- like it or not -- part of the cycle from promise to progress.
The event was organised by one of the Forum's current visiting fellows, the writer and broadcaster Ann Lingard, who is also involved in the sci-art initiative SciTalk.

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I'm sorry, but every time I see the word "Cockermouth" I am reminded of how much of the 9-year old boy remains alive and well inside my middle-aged brain.

So, how was it?

"hype is -- like it or not -- part of the cycle from promise to progress"

I'm inclined to agree. But I wonder if you think that the same could be said of the hyping of environmental catastrophe?


You may have a point there, Stu ...

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