Chinese turning points

One of the lesser known historical figures is the 15th century Chinese admiral Zheng He. Although he was arguably one of the great explorers, on par with Columbus, da Gama, and Magellan, the memory of his journeys quickly faded away. The history of his discoveries is a story about the impact of policy on innovation, for good and […]

Post-factual innovation?

When I learned that the Oxford Dictionary had identified ‘post-truth’ as the Word of the Year 2016, I really felt like I was slapped in the face. For somebody with a passion for science and knowledge, it just hurts. But it is true, the one new concept that dominated public discourse in 2016 was that thing […]

On the freedom and responsibility of science

The freedom of science is a highly valued and widely appreciated principle. Or so I thought – until Andy Borowitz reminded me of the contrary with his recent news satire in The New Yorker, in which he mocks the growing anti-knowledge attitude in some parts of the U.S. political establishment. Thus triggered to think twice, I’ll dwell a little […]

Wall Street

Describing the impact of innovation is a challenging task. Even if you narrow the question a little and focus on technology only, it doesn’t get a lot easier. Searching for a reasonably current example, something that most of you have experienced in your personal lives, I turned to cinema. And I found a compelling story […]

Society’s ambiguity

Over the last few days I’ve been pondering that maybe I need to write a part 3 to the two-part series on expectations and realities. No kidding. It seems that I missed an important aspect of our unrealistic expectations: the ambiguous attitude towards technology that runs through today’s western societies. Even in these technologically advanced […]