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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 12:05 GMT
Future of science debate begins
Sciencehorizons cartoon
Sciencehorizons packs will include cartoons to kick start discussions
The UK public is being invited to have its say on the future of science and technology.

Sciencehorizons, a government funded programme, aims to get people discussing their hopes and fears for future technologies.

Their views will then be fed back to the government and could help shape future science policy.

The scheme was launched on Thursday. A series of nationwide events will run over the next six months.

Science and Innovation Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "What's important about Sciencehorizons is that we're inviting anyone and everyone to get involved in the discussions, not only the scientists.

"Over the coming decades, we're going to have some huge ethical debates about science as new discoveries are made and new technologies emerge.

"We will all need to be part of making informed decisions about how we develop and use scientific and technological advances," he said.

Cartoons

The public is being invited to download free discussion packs from the Sciencehorizons website.

The packs contain stories and cartoons revealing what life might be like in 2025, covering themes such as intelligent materials, healthcare advances and human enhancement.

Scientist in the lab, Eyewire/BBC

They are designed to kick-start group conversations, which will be recorded and returned to Sciencehorizons.

The results will be presented to the UK government in the autumn and will be used to inform future science and technology policy.

Science Museum director Martin Earwicker, who heads the group overseeing the project, said: "The exciting new Sciencehorizons project will help us learn what people think about the future of science and enable the scientific community to hear and respond to both their hopes and concerns for the future."

Sciencehorizons is funded by the Department for Trade and Industry, and is run by a consortium of Dialogue by Design, Demos, the Graphic Science Unit, BBC Worldwide Interactive Learning, and Shared Practice.


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