Seeing possibilities

At a global scale, how do you perceive the path of mankind? Getting better? Getting worse? Getting nowhere? Listening to our instincts, we are inclined to hold a gloomy, even bleak view of the current state and our future prospects. But is such pessimism at all justified? Should we rely on our guts? And what do the facts tell us? The big trends that shape the development of populations and define their health and wealth, these drivers of societal progress are the focus of Hans Rosling’s lifelong mission as a public health practitioner, researcher, and teacher.

How information flow empowers innovation in the future

The flow of information, its density, volume and accessibility are essential underpinnings to a society’s innovation capacity. In this short series of posts, I’ve taken a historic perspective, looking at the information revolution in the middle ages, and at the technological and societal developments up to the 20th century, before turning to the 21st century and the dominant […]

Integrating citizen science

The concept has many names: networked science, crowd-sourced science, crowd science, civic science, or citizen science. All these terms emphasise a specific aspect, and all those aspects play a more or less important role in the overall concept. Let’s see: Networked science – science beyond the ivory tower, it requires interaction with others to progress; the […]

Funding innovation – a broken cycle?

Without a doubt, Clayton Christensen is one of the most prolific thinkers, scholars, and writers on innovation. He is probably best known for having coined the term “disruptive innovation”, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. To get a deeper appreciation of his thinking, I’d encourage you to watch the Clarendon Lecture he gave […]

On literacy

In the previous post, I’ve discussed some flaws in the way that we teach science, and I looked specifically into the effects that those simplified story lines of the science textbooks have on scientists themselves. However, scientists are only a small fraction of the population, and some basic science education is delivered to everybody. The […]