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British Science that hasn’t gone to TED

We have TED.  And we have people who have not got to TED yet.

On Wednesday, I went to Birmingham for the first time in 25 years.  When I was there last, I was using a handful of mainframe computers at Birmingham University and their linguistic computing programs to compile a corpus of Zimbabwean English (which I duly took home on computer tapes about 30cm wide).

On Wednesday, my digital interests took me back for a workshop on publishing Kindle (more later).

A co-creator of the workshop was Kate Cooper of the new optimists. Kate has rallied the scientists we probably haven’t heard of – the guys and women who are doggedly working in laboratories solving riddles with science and who haven’t popped up at TED.

The New Optimists is a compendium of 80 short essays about the scientists “view [of] tomorrow’s world & what it means to us.”

I’ve just got started and of course read the psychology first.  The piece by Michael West on positive organizational scholarship is spot on and that has encouraged me to read what scientists think in fields where I know very little about their frontiers.

Kate and co will be bringing it out on Kindle – so if you only read on holiday – look out for it.  But if you want to find out what is happening in our laboratories, grab a paper copy. The merit is that you use the margins to make notes and draw diagrams of stuff not familiar to you.

Here’s the link.

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