Multi-disciplinary Science

"The more science advances, the less, it seems, that any one discipline holds all the answers.....we have entered the post-disciplinary age where a new breed of multi-diciplinary institutes is emerging" - The Institute for the Future - a group of people identifying emerging trends in everything from health care to human identity. - The MIND Institute - providing an multidiscipinary approach to neuroscience. "Standing shoulder to shoulder, families, scientists, physicians, educators, and administrators are working together to unlock the mysteries of the mind." - aspires to use the power of information and technology to address the global challenges of our age: climate change, poverty and emerging disease. - MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms - devoted to study of boundary between the content of information and its physical representation. - The future of humanity institute, University of Oxford. Their mission is to bring excellent scholarship to bear on big picture questions for humanity; global catastrophies, rational and wise decision making, enhancing cognition and lifespan...etc.. - The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Focused on achieving environmental sustainability in the context of rapid population growth, climate change and extreme poverty and infectious disease.

Applied research Centre in Human Security, University of Coventry. Human security is a new security framework that centres directly on people and recognises that lasting peace and social justice cannot be achieved unless people are protected from threats to basic needs and rights. We work across professional, sectoral and intellectual boundaries in search of integrated solutions to local and global problems. Part of the University's Futures Institute.

The J.Craig Vener Institute - Harnessing the collective brains of physicists, biologists, chemists and computer scientists the institute builds on the original Human Genome Sequencing work of Craig Venter, and has recently published the first diploid human genome. Through their Sorcerer II projecta global ocean sampling expedition they uncovered more than six million new genes (doubling the number already known to science) and thousands of new protein families from organisms found in sea water. Listen to Craig Venter's take on post-disciplinary research here.

Discover the Google backed Singularity University - - their mission to assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies in order to address humanity’s grand challenges.


Multi-disciplinary Gatherings

SciBar Camp - a gathering of scientists, artists, and technologists for a weekend of talks and discussions.

Sci Foo - a series of interdisciplinary scientific unconference focused on emerging technology and is designed to encourage collaboration between scientists and other thinkers who would not necessarily work together.

eg - a series of conferences that draw together the best creative forces in our society. "A conference for the most influential and creative minds in the world"

the do lectures getting a handful of speakers together in the hope that they may inspire you to do something. To give you the tools and the desire to change the things you care about.

2gether - promoting social progress and enhancing public life and collective well being through digital innovations like the internet, mobile and game technologies.


Important public science appreciation and promotion of rational thought.

The atheist bus campaign - Bus advertising with the slogan "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." This is an endeavour of the British Humanist Association - which represents the interests of the large and growing population of ethically concerned but non-religious people in the UK. Their vision is a world without religious privilege or discrimination, where people are free to live good lives on the basis of reason, experience and shared human values.

Less Wrong - a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality - the art of obtaining beliefs that correspond to reality as closely as possible. Explore their definition of rationality further here. - For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology. An organisation devoted to "transforming our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes."

Worldometers - real world stats in real time

Understanding Uncertainty - the work of David Spiegelhalter's team at the University of Cambridge's programme exploring public understanding of risk. The National Center for Science Education defends the teaching of evolution in public schools. Watch their Expelled Exposed films. Sense about Science - responds to the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society, from scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation. Chair of the board is Lord Dick Taverne whose brilliant book The March of Unreasonshould be on everyone's reading list.

The periodic table of videos. A fantastic series of short films from the University of Nottingham hosted on Youtube and presented by Professor Martyn Poliakoff and Pete Licence. The series is made by Brady Haranfilmmaker in residence at the University.

The Deep Space Climate Observatory - A mission to place a satellite at Earth's Lagrangian point L1 to provide a continuous view of the entire planet and make that live image available via the internet. Originally conceved by Al Gore, it was hoped that the satellite would not only advance science (measuring how much sunlight is reflected and emitted from the whole Earth) but also raise awareness of the Earth itself, updating the influential Blue marble picture taken by Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt in December 1972. The satellite is built, paid for and ready to fly. Nations have offered to launch it for free. But it's in a box outside Washington DC, a victim of politics.

The Skeptic - the UK's only regular magazine that takes a skeptical look at pseudoscience and claims of the paranormal. And Skeptics in the Pub - an important monthly meeting in a London pub.

The value of curiosity is hard to calculate. Is the the search for fundamental knowledge as useful as the search for solutions to specific problems? Read Christopher Llewellyn-Smith's take on the need for pure science here.

The University of Cambridge's Faraday Institute - part of St Edmund's College.



Be inspired to be more creative....

The Smart studio creates new fusions of art, technology and science. The research is carried out from an artistic perspective focusing at innovative applications of technology. The work takes the form of interdisciplinary projects with results that both present and generate new reflections and questions. Brain Ball comes out of the Smart studio.

Professor Arthur I. Miller, asks what does it mean to be creative? Is there anything that links the thought processes of the world's greatest artists - like Picasso - and the world's greatest scientists - like Einstein? And if so, what is it? This has been the subject of his research for several decades.

Robin Wight, President of Engine and WCRS - and one of the world's big thinkers and founder of the Ideas Foundation. "Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will." Listen to his recent BBC Radio 4 series here.

Envision - an organisation founded in 2000 by four young people aimed at challenging the general perception that young people are apathetic and disengaged. Envision's simple model supports young people to develop the skills, awareness, confidence and motivation necessary to lie at the heart of positive change.

TEDTalks - devoted to giving millions of knowledge-seekers around the globe direct access to the world's greatest thinkers and teachers. The most inspiring TV you will never watch on TV!

We think. Charle Leadbeather's take on the web. "The audience is taking to the stage. Inbformation is everywhere... which is pretty confusing.... But ideas take life when they are really creative.. cos new ideas come through conversations....You are worth what you share not what you own."

We feel fine Jonathan Harris' beautiful and touching exploration of human emotion through global blogging. Watch his TED talk on it here And visit Jonathan's other amazing projects like the Sputnik Observatory - an observatory for the study of contemporary culture - at

Publishing magnet and best selling poet Felix Dennis.

Jane McGonigal - a pioneer in the field of alternative reality gaming and its applications to real business and work. Check out her previous projects The Lost RingWorld Without OilCruel 2 B Kind, and I Love Bees and her first collaboration between the MMOG communities and scientific research - SuperStruct.

The extraordinary cellist Zoe Keating.

The Whole Earth catalogue - a fore-runner to the world wide web.

The inspiration of Apollo

Seed Magazine - explore it for yourself!

Google's Ngram Viewer - type in any word or words to seea graph showing how frequently the word(s) have been used over the past two centuries in books. It works by drawing on the vast archive of scanned books - over 15 million at the last count. Read more about it here and some of the research that's already being done with it. If you like Ngram then check out David McCandless' visualizations of other data at Informationisbeautiful. His visualisations are beautiful and intriguing.

Photosynth - microsoft's incredible panorama maker.


Catalysts for change.

My - a not-for-profit group that builds open source websites that keep tabs on politicians (they work for you) or get local problems solved (fix my street).

The Collaboration Foundation and their project the 1 second film.

The Red movement - not a charity or a campaign - but more of a business. And it's related DATAorganization and it's One International movementWatch their film "The Lazarus Effect" here on youtube.

Worth reading the criticisms of it too - at Buy Less Crap.

People to People - exists to enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural and humanitarian activities involving the exchange of ideas and experiences directly among peoples of different countries and diverse cultures. Their moto is 'Peace through understanding'.

Show us a better Way. "Tell us what you'd build with public information and we could help you fund your idea."

Network for Social Change - a unique group of philanthropists committed to a wide range of social change, from arts and education to economic justice, environmental sustainability, human rights and work towards preserving world peace.

Gapminder - for a fact based view of the world. And Hans Rosling's documentary 'The Joy of Stats'

School of Everything - connects people who want to learn with passionate teachers in their local area.

gov2.0 - the rise of the World Wide Web has resulted in remarkable new possibilities and business models reshaping our culture and our economy. Now the time has come to reshape government.

Smart Justice - unlocking solutions for crime. SmartJustice is a unique resource that provides comprehensive information on initiatives that are effective in changing offenders' behaviour, stopping crime before it starts and tackling the causes of crime for adults and young people. It is based at the Prison Reform Trust in London. SmartJustice for Young People's work is being continued through a five year campaign to reduce child and youth imprisonment called
'Out of Trouble'

The BBC's 2.0 Project and Tom Loosemore's take on it - the BBC's Fifteen Web Principles. - an online platform for user generated news and opinion. We exist to give you the opportunity to air your views and respond to the opinions of others. You can debate issues of local interest to you or discuss points of global importance. Either way, will provide an interesting and stimulating alternative to the sanitised, agenda driven mediocrity of the conventional mass media.

A new kind of computational knowledge engine - the Wolfram Alpha.

4ip - Channel 4's hunt for rule-breaking, re-invention of public service media in a post-broadcast world. Watch Jon Gisby explain it here and read Ewan McIntosh's blog on the sorts of things they'd like to do here. As Their holy grail is to create the participation of good web sites with the wit and intelligence of their most distinctive and best programmes, eg Rock CorpsCarrot Mob, or TED.

Search for Common Ground Founded in 1982, to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. SFCG work with local partners to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies' capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.

Peacedirect - It makes sense to act before a conflict leads to a full blown humanitarian crisis, and to do that we need to listen to the local people who are there on the ground and can see the warning signs. Our vision is a world where the work and knowledge of local peacebuilders is central to all strategies for managing conflict.

The Quilliam Foundation - the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, human rights, democracy and developing a Muslim identity at home in, and with, the West.

Careers Box - a place to find your vocation in life.

50Lessons - get a leg up onto the shoulders of giants.

Remember the world as it was at the birth of Google - and their novel backrub technology.

Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project which is devoted to collaborative learning. They build learning resources from the ground up offering tutorials and courses for the fostering of learning.

The KnowledgeWeb Project is a learning web site envisioned by James Burke to present knowledge in a highly interconnected, hollistic way.The goal is not only to inform about the scientists, artists, innovators and explorers of history but also to find the connections between them and impact they have had on modern life.

The Brain - a new way of organising your thoughts

The extraordinary work of visionary physicist Burkhard Heim. - Karl Rabeder's project to give away money in the shape of micro-loans of Euros200 to help people in developing countries to create their own work and transform their lives and their fortunes.

Visions for a different kind of eduction experience.

See the world differently through the thoughts of Professor Philip Zimbardo - and his "The Secret Powers of Time" talk.

The New Economics Foundation - an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being. Champions of the Happy Planet Index, and Social Return on Investment.

The Ecology Building Society - building society with a difference. When you place your savingswith us you help to fund mortgages that lead to a more sustainable future.


Philosophies for Life .

Ataraxia - The Epicurean state of true happiness which stems from rejection of an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and not concerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affecionate friends. Being comfortable with uncertainty is something we should all learn to livnd desire to find truths. read more about this struggle here. Perhaps it's the simple pleasures that are at the heart of happiness and contentment.

The best advice you'll ever get on how to live your life from the "Mark and Angel Hack Life" blog-practical tips for productive living.

Chris Cleave in the Guardian on turning atoms into children and the awe inspiring wonder of life.The real creation story!

John Diamond on reasons to be cheerful. "We have a limited capacity for happiness, but an almost infinitely unlimited capacity for, well, not unhappiness exactly, but non-happiness."

Objectivism - derives from the principle that human knowledge and values are objective they are not created by the thoughts one has, but are determined by the nature of reality, to be discovered by man's mind. Ayn Rand characterized Objectivism as "a philosophy for living on earth", grounded in reality, and aimed at defining man's nature and the nature of the world in which he lives. She considered reasonto be the only means of acquiring knowledge and the most important aspect of her philosophy, stating, "I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am notprimarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows."

Gross National Happiness - an attempt to define the quality of life in more hoistic and psychological terms the Gross National Product. See also the New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index and understand your own levels of personal happiness better by exploring theHedonic Treadmill. The Danes are consistently seen as the happiest people on Earth. Find outwhy. The Science of Happiness is explored on this BBC Web site where you can also take Professor Ed Diener's happiness test.

"One key ingredient to happiness is social relationships, and another key ingredient is to have important goals that derive from one's values [and talents], and to make progress toward those goals."

The Grant Research Project - a life long study of happiness started in the 1940s, and still running. Professor George Vaillant has devoted his life to this study of over 280 men from the Harvard area which has sort to explore every aspect of their lives from relationships with friends and family to their joys and sorrows. Read more about it at The Atlantic. Valiant's studies of the data suggest that in broad terms happiness is about pulling positive emotions into the front of your mind rather than dwelling on the negative side to life. Cultivating a feeling of worth through altruistic acts and loving relationships with friends and family is at the route of happiness in all the lives studied. Such an approach universally seems to have nurture a feeling in the subjects of gladness in a life well lived. The job of life is not one of "keeping up with the Jones'" but of playing and loving. As Valiant says "happiness is love. Full stop."

For more thoughts on adjusting to the world throughout your lifespan see Vaillant's booksAdaptation to Life and Aging Well - based on the data gathered from the Grant Research Project.

Examination of these life long studies into satisfaction and contentment with life all point to one single issue regarding an end to life and the anxiety induced by the reality of eventual death and the temporary nature of personal existence. For those of us who chose to ponder this fact, it can be a highly negative influence on our happiness, which we can chose to tackle in one of two ways; either to ignore it or to embrace sone of the comforts of conventional religious faiths, which provide the strength or dellusion to deal with.

So is there a contentment with life to be attained without organised religion? Such a path is explored in Vaillant's 2008 book Spiritual Evolution. Our spirituality, he shows, resides in our uniquely human brain design and in our innate capacity for emotions like love, hope, joy, forgiveness, and compassion, which are selected for by evolution and located in a different part of the brain than dogmatic religious belief.

All faiths and none a group of people with different worldviews, religious and non-religious who are exploring some of the big questions in life from our personal viewpoints. This website provides resources to enable learners and staff to develop an understanding of the worldviews. Here you can find short essays on a range of topics from death to sex and freedom to violence

The British Humanist Association - "science expresses the greatest human values: our care for each other and our wish to make sense of the world in which we find ourselves", Raymond Tallis, Philosopher, novelist and gerontologist.

The Ethical Society - Founded in 1793, is the oldest freethought community in the world. The Society is a progressive movement whose aims are the study and dissemination of ethical principles based on humanism, the cultivation of a rational and humane way of life, and the advancement of research and education in all relevant fields..

David Eagleman's book Sum. David is a neuroscientist whose book explores the vastness of our ignorance when it comes to the afterlife. David believes that we don't have enough data to be 100% sure about the atheistic view of the world, and that any faith you have is likley to be more to do with how you were brought up than any special truth. He concludes that the answer to what happens after death is probably something else - a state he has coined the term 'possibillian' to describe. Check out the BBC's coverage of his ideas.



Live pictures and sound from the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. - Monitoring the global ocean through underwater acoustics - Dennis Severs' House,  18 Folgate Street
Spitalfields, London - Elvis's live recoding of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" from August 1969 in Las Vegas, but his backing singers make him start to laugh and he just can't stop! - tips on reducing our carbon footprint - Listen in on the planet with this live map of Earth's seismic activity. - the most comprehensive source of information on space flight on Earth. - NASA TV and thousands of other TV channels streamed online - the future of TV programming on the web

Just for fun have a look at these views of Earth from above as reported in the Telegraph

Old film archive from London Transport:

Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo - translated into English:

My favourite folding bike

Cecil Hepworth - the original British Film Maker. I always find it incredible that his 1903 hit film 'Alice in Wonderland' (dubbed 'the Avatar of its day') was melted down to retrieve the silver when his company went under in the 1920s. The nitrate copy which the BFI holds lacks some scenes - but was restored in 2009 for re-release with Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of the story.

Write Charlie's Name - Charlie Thompson was only thirteen years old when she died in a terrible train accident in December 2005. This web site encourages us to write Charlie's name anywhere in the world to keep her memory alive and to help her spirit travel the world in support of the Khandel Light charity.

My Daddy Cooks - adventures in the kitchen with two year old Archie and his dad.

Novel ideas and designs at the D&AD Blog .

Intel's Museum of Me 

Instant Teleportation using streetview at MapCrunch 

We choose the Moon - amazing real time reconstruction of Apollo 11's lunar landing.




On the 7th of July 2005 one of my best friends Miriam Hyman was killed by the bus bomb which went off in London.  We have set up a web site for friends and family to reflect on her life here.

For some joint blogging with Andrew Williams on theology and science and other things click here.

Fun observations of the British tabloid press here at Tabloid Watch