Colossal advances in human enhancement technologies could allow us to overcome the current limits of the human body, changing the future of work for ever. But will this be harmful or beneficial for society?
Never has the term ‘generation gap’ been quite so relevant to me as when my 3-year-old recently tried desperately get her good, old-fashioned, paper-based sticker book to access the internet. She looked at me with highly disapproving eyes and exclaimed: “Daddy, this iPad has broken”.
You don’t need me to tell you that science deals in the currency of evidence. This evidence builds into a constellation of data that then allows a conclusion to be drawn. To think contrary to well gathered evidence would at best be ‘un-scientific’ and at worst utterly foolhardy. As such, it is time for science to admit it has a problem. A problem highlighted by some truly damning statistics – evidence which must surely lead to one conclusion: That there are not enough women in science.
Should you serve a prison sentence for being wrong about something? Monday 22 October marked a worrying time for science; six Italian seismologists and an ex-government official were accused of falsely reassuring the community about the likelihood of an earthquake that killed 309 people in L’Aquila in 2009.
There are two discoveries I’d like to talk to you about in this month’s column. The first, perhaps unsurprisingly, concerns what has become the world’s best known elementary particle – the Higgs Boson. The second remains in the realm of the very small – but rather than being particulate in nature, it is mammalian – the tiny American water shrew.