Nick at the Science Festival- “As far as thought can reach”

By Nick Morrison

This year’s Orkney International Science Festival  was started off  by Professor Tom Stevenson.

Professor Stevenson spoke at the first science festival in 1991 and and at every science festival since .

In 1991 most communications were by letter, phone or Fax. The Internet had yet to arrive. Work started then on small cameras,  the idea  was originally driven by the concept of fingerprint door locks. Whilst that idea did not come to fruition the concept of digital cameras was implemented into mobile phones. Most phones nowadays have at least 2 camera chips.  Two of these chips will fit easily onto a 5 p piece. This miniaturization of data chips has also revolutionised data storage.

Looking to the Future professor Stevenson said this was extremely difficult as novel and disruptive technologies could emerge.  As an example of disruptive technology he gave digital cameras. Sales of film peaked in 2001, Kodak Was slow to adapt and were bankrupt by 2012.  Also  phone cameras are now so good that it has depressed the sales of the cheaper digital cameras. 

What is more certain is that there will be a lot more people.  The UN says we are increasing by 200,000 a day.  So that’s a city of Aberdeen size everyday.  We will also have to pay more for energy ,water and food.  Whilst Orkney has an abundance of all three we will be undoubtedly affected by global prices of these. 

You can watch the whole talk here

Leave a Reply