Thursday, January 25, 2007

Public Debate on "The Future of Science"

Yet again, the BBC has provided another story of interest to me: launched today, a government initiative - called ScienceHorizons - has been created to promote debate on the future of science - or more particularly, people's "hopes and fears for future technologies". The project is due to run until the autumn, when the results are to be given to the government to help with policy building.

Science and Innovation Minister Malcolm Wicks: "Over the coming decades, we're going to have some huge ethical debates about science as new discoveries are made and new technologies emerge."..."We will all need to be part of making informed decisions about how we develop and use scientific and technological advances..."

The idea is that people download discussion packs, which include cartoons and other information, to kick-start group debates and discussions. These would be recorded and sent back to ScienceHorizons for processing. The aim is to have as wide a range of people as possible participating, not just those involved in the sciences. The ScienceHorizons website has all the information needed to get started, and a what looks like a fairly simple interface for both requesting discussion packs, and reporting back the results. Here's hoping that this initiative, which sounds great in principle, actually produces decent results which will help the future government make the right decisions.

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