Andrew Maynard: Where Do We Go From Here?

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The second installment in the Contemporary Arts Center's 'Where Do We Go From Here?' speaker series featured renegade scientist-slash-communicator extraordinaire Dr. Andrew Maynard. The go-to guy for governments and international research institutions alike, Maynard is a scientist with a self-described unhealthy interest in the dark side: "I used to be a bona fide research scientist, but a few years back I entered the alternative reality of science policy and communication. Under the delusion that 'science,' 'policy' and 'communication' are not mutually exclusive, Ive spent the past few years trying to make sense of what happens when all three come together." ABOUT ANDREW MAYNARD: When not writing and talking about science and technology as the author of '2020 Science' (, he directs the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, Risk Science Center ( ABOUT THE SERIES: Borrowing from one of this year's exhibition titles ('Where Do We Go From Here?', we have invited global game-changers of all kinds to the Contemporary Arts Center to answer one question: Where do we go from here? No other rules. Each one is different and each one gets you thinking. Only one thing guaranteed: great conversation. This is what contemporary art can do. This is where the curious come out to play. Dhani Jones - Friday, November 19, 2010 Andrew Maynard - Saturday, December 11, 2010 Femme Den - Monday, January 24, 2011 Michael Edson- Monday, March 7, 2011


  • 1. Small Gods... ...and the Art of Technology InnovationAndrew D. Maynard Director, Risk Science CenterUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthCincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, December 11 2010

2. The futures not set. Theres no fatebut what we make for ourselvesJohn Connor, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1991 3. !@#$ 4. Risk 5. Risk:The likelihood of adverse consequencesarising from actions or events 6. Risk:Deconstructed Good CauseEffect BadBenecial Action ConsequencesHarmfulConstructive Decision RamicationsDestructive 7. Risk:Deconstructed Good CauseEffect BadBenecial Action Consequences (Inaction)HarmfulConstructive Decision Ramications (Indecision)Destructive 8. Risk:Deconstructed Good CauseEffect BadBenecial Action Consequences (Inaction)HarmfulConstructive Decision Ramications (Indecision)Destructive 9. The Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Pierre-Jacques Volaire, 1777 10. Sheffield, circa 1874. Source: LIFE 11. PRAKASH HATVALNE/APDecember 3, 1984: Victims on a Bhopal street 12. Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale 13. Felice C. Frankel and George M. WhitesidesNo Small Matter: Science on the NanoscalePhantomsFaced with something unfamiliar, we are simultaneously curious and afraid. To remind us to becareful, we construct things that go bump in the nightphantoms, trolls, chain-saw movies.This field of shimmering light, with unrecognizeable shapes inside, could be anything; best to assumeits dangerous! (It is, in fact, a fountain playing over rocks; but no matter.) We treat new technologiesin the same way. At the beginnig, they are all dangerous: fire, the book, steam engines, geneticallyengineered bacteria, nanotechnology. But with enough familiarity, we ignore even truly dangerousonesnuclear weapons, ubiquitous surveillance, smoking, drinking, the sports channel on TV. 14. Last CenturysRisk challenge: How do we prevent human instincts causing more harm than good in a technology-driven world? 15. Science: on,cti onpr edi atin, evalu tio e-rva d rO bse g ante stinIndep en selfd en-cort an rec t dingEvidence-baseddecisions and action s 16. Science: on,cti onpr edi atinctn, evalu tio e-rva d rbse g an ins tiO stin es thetence tak we do IndeS cie f w hatselfp en-cor d ent anout orec ting dEvidence-baseddecisions and action s 17. Risk Science:Science that supports evidence-informed approaches to riskA systemanopug h? is ehiatineatnc a proach totvalu s g i But d addressing risk A means of separating risk-related decisions and actions from potentially harmful instinctive responses 18. Risk Science:In the 21st Century Coupling Communication Control 19. Coupling 20. Estimated change in sea surface acidity caused between the 1700s and the 1990s 21. Photo: Andy GuptaThe Colorado river running through Marble Canyon 22. Aitor Escauriaza 23. Communication 24. 25. One weeks Twitter conversations initiated by @boraz (Bora Zivkovic) 26. Last of 33 Chilean miners to be rescued. Washington Post 27. Control 28. Geoengineering Reectedsunlight Al2O3Al 50 nmBaTiO3 10 mGravitationalalignmentPhotophoretic levitation Hypothetical materialKeith DW. 2010. Photophoretic levitation of engineered aerosols for geoengineering.PNAS 107(38): 16429-31. 29. Nanomedicine Martin Philbert and Raoul Kopelman 30. Synthetic biologyMycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1 J. Craig Venter Institute Gibson DG, Glass JI, Lartigue C, Noskov VN, Chuang R-Y, Algire MA, et al. 2010. Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome.Science 329(5987): 52-56. 31. Re-arrange WriteDebug DIGITAL CODEDIGITAL DOMAIN Sequencing SynthesisDNAPHYSICAL DOMAIN Natural Selection Breeding Biotechnology Information FlowConcept: Drew Endy 32. Bayley H. 2010. Nanotechnology: Holes with an edge. Nature 467(7312): 164-165. 33. Sequencing the Human GenomeHuman Genome Project James Watson The near future?1988 - 20012007201313 years 2 months3 minutes Science 291:5507, pp. 1304-1351, Nature, 1 June 2007.Nature, 6 February 2009. 2001. doi: 10.1126/science.1058040 doi:10.1038/news070528-10 doi:10.1038/news.2009.86 34. CommunicationCoupling ? Control 35. Five Pressure-Point Technologies: Synthetic biology Digitally designing life and downloading it into real ityGeoengin Planet-wideering e climate interventionBio-constr Viruses prouctiongrammed to build new m aterialsMachBett ine-h er-t han u ma-hum an? n inteCognitive enhancers r f ac e Designer drugs for aspiring high achievers s 36. The 20th centuryRisk challenge: How do we prevent human instincts causing more harm than good in a technologically complex world? 37. The 21st centuryRisk challenge: How do we ensure evidence-informed, socially-responsive and proactive risk- decisions in a highly complex, interconnected and interdependent world? 38. Drivers of change:Complexity: Agents of harm are increasinglycomplex, and innovation cycle so fast thatestablished linear, reactive approaches toaddressing risk are failingInterconnectedness: Increasingly complexlocal and global relationships between decisionsand their ramificationsDistributed decision-making: Non-traditionaldecision-influencers and decision-makers arebecoming increasingly influential, includingcitizens 39. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams. BBC, 1981 40. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams. BBC, 1981 41. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams. BBC, 1981 42. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams. BBC, 1981 43. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams. BBC, 1981 44. Andrew D. MaynardDirector, Risk Science CenterUniversity of Michigan School of Public Health1415 Washington HeightsSPH I Room 1792 Ann Arbor, MI 48109Email: maynarda@umich.eduContact: Hilda McDonald, Tel: 734-615-3050, Email: hildiris@umich.eduRisk Science Center: http://umriskcenter.orgBlog: http://2020science.orgTwitter: