Reflections are only that, reflections, nothing more nothing less. Often these reflections are related to books I read, but occasionally also other things. These are often written very late, very fast,  using notes from my mobile phone, so the grammar and spelling is horrible.

SEED and the world we live in

Had a very inspiring meeting/lunch at SEED: Science is culture with Adam Bly, Laura McNeil and Don Hoyt Gorman in their office in New York. They have some really interesting projects in the pipeline so keep an eye on their webpage (and subscribe to their magazine). The magazine is one of the best around and keeps reminding me of some of the big questions in a way that inspire.

During my trips to China and India I felt that it would be interesting if I magazine like SEED could look into China and India and ask the same fundamental questions that they usually do. After the meeting in New York I got a few more ideas, here they are:

1. The 21st century from the labs/universities in China
What new solutions and approaches do we see in China and India, how will the 21st century look like if they will shape the development of our societies?

2. Tomorrow’s world today
Voices from scientists in China and India. Could be simple interviews with a selected number of thinkers.

3. Answers to the challenges in the 21st Century
What are the main challenges that humanity must face and what solutions are emerging in China and India?

4. Global Research Index for tomorrow’s solutions
The centre of gravity in a number of areas are moving “east”. Still much of the world leading research happens in the “old institutions”. But what are the directions that the new centers of excellence are moving? Instead of just the current state this index would capture speed and direction. Could be a very interesting graphic.
5. The science of cities
With 2008 as the year when we for the first time in history have more people in urban than rural areas we need to understand the “anatomy of cities”. The understanding of cities is really low and I keep getting surprised regarding the lack of basic knowledge even when it comes to fundamental facts. How much cities import and export that contribute to climate change is one area that should be a top priority, but also what kind of cities that encourage people to connect with the world around and that base their decisions on facts, not fiction.

6. The moving axis of assumptions for research
The creation and development of “science” is based on worldviews that are changing and basic assumptions that also change. What are the problems and opportunities that guide scientists around the world? What new challenges (climate change, WMD, aging populations, lack of privacy, etc) and what new opportunities (nanotech, biotech, robotics, internet, access to information, respect for basic human rights, etc) are the most important today.

Six is a good number in China, almost as good as eight, so I’ll stop here and keep two slots for new ideas when I go to China in October.