At the beginning of the 21st Century, we may be standing on the brink of a mind-makeover more cataclysmic than anything in our history. The science and technology that is already becoming central to our lives, will soon come to transform not just the way we spend each day, but the way we think and feel.


Reading One: Tomorrow's People

Reading Two: Life in Two Dimensions


Dr. Susan
University of Oxford
Department of Pharmacology

Susan Greenfield is a scientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords. She is Professor of Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford University and Director of the Royal Institution.  With a well-earned reputation as one of the most influential women in the world, she is an outstanding keynote speaker on change and tomorrows' people. She has deeply insightful perspectives on the effects of scientific and technological advancements on the human race as well as business management and leadership. 

Baroness Susan Greenfield
Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain
Fullerian Professor of Physiology
Senior Research Fellow Lincoln College,
Honorary Fellow, St. Hilda's College

Britain's foremost neuroscientist, Baroness Susan Greenfield is the first woman director of the 204-year-old Royal Institution of Great Britain.

As a consequence of working in both biochemical and electrophysiological environments she has developed a multidisciplinary approach to exploring novel neuronal mechanisms in the brain that are common to regions affected in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The basic theme of her research is to develop strategies to arrest neuronal death in these disorders.

She is also co-founder of a university spin-out company specialising in novel approaches to neurodegeneration, - Synaptica Ltd In addition, Professor Greenfield has a supplementary interest in the neuroscientific basis of consciousness, and accordingly has written 'Journey to the Centres of the Mind Toward a Science of Consciousness' (1995) W H Freeman Co, and 'Private Life of the Brain' (2000) Penguin. Her latest book ‘Tomorrow’s People: How 21st Century technology is changing the way we think and feel’ (Penguin 2003), explores human nature, and its potential vulnerability in an age of technology.

In addition, she is also Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, part of the James Martin 21st Century School, which exploits the parallels between the brains of the very young and very old, and how they are all vunerable to technology, chemical manipulation, and disease. She has also written 'The Human Brain': A Guided Tour (1997) Orion-Phoenix Press, which ranked in the best seller list for hard and paperbacks. She held the Gresham Chair of Physic from 1996-1999, and has received 28 honorary degrees.

In 1998 she was awarded the Michael Faraday medal by the Royal Society and in 1999 was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She is also involved in science policy and has given a consultative seminar to the Prime Minister on the future of science in the UK. Susan has been involved in the ‘Science and the Economy’ seminars at No 11 and in response to a request in 2002 from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, she produced the Greenfield Report ‘SET Fair: A Report on Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology’. She has also been elected as Adelaide's Thinker in Residence for 2004 and 2005. She was awarded the CBE in the Millennium New Year’s Honour’s List and Life Peerage (non-political) in 2001. In 2003 she was awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.





Learning Objectives:

What is technology?

By completing this short course (reading commenting the blog and attending the lecture you will:

1. Develop an understanding of how is technological innovations are transforming modern culture.

2. Identify the most important new transformative technologies.

3. Form your own vision of a desirable technological future.

4. Distingusih attitudes to technology – Cynics, Technophobes and Technophiles.

Perhaps both Technophiles and Technophobes would agree on one very important issue that sets them aside from The Cynics: we must be proactive and set the agenda for what we want and need from such rapid technical advances; only then shall we, our children and our grandchildren come to have the best life possible.  So first we need to evaluate the 21st-century technologies, and then unflinchingly open our minds to all possibilities…

Glossary of key terms:
Cynic/Cynicism: Cynicism is a distrust toward professed ethical and social values, especially when there are high expectations concerning society, institutions and authorities which are unfulfilled. Cynicism can manifest itself as a result of frustration, disillusionment, and distrust perceived as due to organizations, authorities and other aspects of society, and thus is roughly equivalent to a substantive form of the English word "jaded".

Technophile/Technophilia: The technophile sees most or all technology as positive, adopting technology enthusiastically, and seeing it as a means to potentially improve life and combat social problems. Technopilia refers generally to a strong enthusiasm for technology, especially new technologies.

Technophobes/Technophobia: The technophobe dislikes technology, often regarding some or all technology with fear. This may be as a consequences of fear of change, a prior catastrophic experience with technology or because it may lead to a process of dehumanization.