X-Message-Number: 25966
From: "John de Rivaz" <>

Subject: Reith Lectures: The Triumph of Technology - by a nanotechnology pioneer
Date: Sun, 3 Apr 2005 12:36:38 +0100

The BBC's Reith lectures are a prestigious annual event. They are broadcast
on BBC Radio 4 and can be heard via the Internet where they are also
archived. This year, the lecturer is  the distinguished engineer and
nanotechnology pioneer Lord Broers. Alec Broers is President of the Royal
Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the House of Lords Science and
Technology Committee. He was also Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University
1996 until 2003.

He was the first person to use the scanning electron microscope for the
fabrication of micro-miniature structures.

In the five lectures, he sets out his belief that technology can and should
hold the key to the future. He says: "It is time to wake up to this fact.
Applied science is rivalling pure science both in importance and in
intellectual interest. We cannot leave technology to the technologists; we
must all embrace it. We have lived through a revolution in which technology
has affected all our lives and altered our societies for ever."



>>There is an illusion that modern technologies emerge exclusively through a
process of invention that has its roots in science. In reality they
frequently come from a series of improvements that make them more attractive
to the customers. <<

>>The old idea that quality comes with hand-finishing is incorrect in most
fields today. <<

>>Some argue that technology threatens our way of life and must be
controlled through regulation. I feel that this is rarely necessary. It is
better to allow the market - the customer - to decide whether technologies
succeed. <<

>>The market can also control intrusive behaviour. Let's take mobile phone
users on trains. If more people ride trains with mobile phone-free
carriages, then train operators will provide mobile-free carriages. It may
take time but the market will provide the control. <<

>> How does one decide what is acceptable risk? Why are people afraid to fly
but happy to drive a car despite its much higher risk of injury or death?
Why do we accept a greater likelihood of accident at home than we do at
work? <<

Sincerely, John de Rivaz:  http://John.deRivaz.com for websites including
Cryonics Europe, Longevity Report, The Venturists, Porthtowan, Alec Harley
Reeves - inventor, Arthur Bowker - potter, de Rivaz genealogy,  Nomad .. and

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