Attended a great panel over supper on “Now to Next: How will Science and Technology help solve our wicked problems” moderated by Robyn Williams, with Baroness Susan Greenfield, Michael T Jones, Professor Nadia Rosenthal, Dr Iain McGilchrist and Jason Drew. Tons of great stuff from a very talented panel but my favourite quote of the night was from Iain McGilchrist:
“We are in a race between education and catastrophe.”
(Edit: Alan has noted that this is normally attributed to H. G. Wells. Thanks, Alan!)
Can you think of a better description of what we do or a more important reason to get up in the morning? The burning deck analogy, where crisis forces us to act, may not always apply – after all, as Baroness Greenfield noted, Quantum theory wasn’t developed because of a looming crisis, Barry Marshall’s work on ulcers wasn’t because of war and global warming had nothing to do with the work on Nerve Growth Factor. So thinking of scientists as firefighters is not a good way to think. But thinking of educators as essential and of education as the way to avert disaster – now that’s a much more useful approach.