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  • November 2012
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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: A Personal Perspective.”  In it, I spoke about three factors that are coming together to change the landscape in which science and technology are developed and used for social good (coupling, communication and control), and how science and technology policy might respond to the new challenges that are arising as a consequence. Rather naively, I thought this would occupy me for a few weeks.  The fact that I gave the original seminar in March, and I’m typing this in December, is a rather damning testament to my own lack of foresight! Finally though, I have come to the end of the series.  I’m not sure how useful it has been or whether it will stand the test of time – there are certainly a lot of words within the eleven blogs associated with it, but whether they coalesce into new and worthwhile ideas is another matter entirely.  However, it has   helped me explore more thoroughly some of the concepts that drove the original seminar, and further develop my thoughts on science and technology might play in the 21st century. The complete blog series can be accessed from here.  It addresses the critical roles science and technology will increasingly play in society over the coming decades; the challenges of getting science and technology-based strategies and policies right; and thoughts on how to respond to these challenges – leading to a future where science and technology are used for good, rather than leading to harm. I’m not going to attempt to summarize the series here – a pretty succinct precis of the challenges and opportunities we face can be found in this post if you are interested.  Rather, I wanted to round the series off by ruminating more broadly and speculatively on the future challenges and opportunities we face....

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