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Phrases that induce comas: 'minister calls for national debate'

Malcom 'I haven't updated my website since August 2006' Wicks is the one doing so, calling for "the first ever mass public engagement programme designed to get the nation talking about the science and technology of the future".

And there's more, much more: "...sciencehorizons - the first ever mass public engagement programme designed to get the nation talking about the science and technology of the future....Community groups, schools, families and friends up and down the country are invited to get together in village halls, classrooms, living rooms and pubs to have their own sciencehorizons discussions using the free packs. The sciencehorizons packs use stories, cartoons and a CD-ROM to prompt discussion. They cover four topics: mind and body, home and community, work and leisure and people and planet".

Have Wicks and his department taken leave of their senses, or were all involved rolling around the floor in hysterics after they cooked up the notion that 'Community groups, schools, families and friends up and down the country' really would be sitting down to have a good old chinwag about scientific ethics?

Here is an artist's impression of what a meeting might look like:

Always supposing that anyone actually asks for a sciencewise pack (Register for it at http://www.sciencehorizons.org.uk/request.asp), this is what will happen, apparently:

"The results of the sciencehorizons programme will be presented to the government in Autumn 2007. Your views will help the government understand how people feel about the way developments in science and technology could be used in the future. This will help them make decisions about how to research, regulate and communicate science and technology".

What I think this means is that the DTI gets to look modern, trendy and oh so interactive (even if it is at the death rattle stage) before going on to completely ignore whatever the public says and convening a panel of Labour supporting lab coat wearers to deliberate at great length and produce a report which will sit on a shelf ignored.

Mr Wicks studied, not at UCL, not at Imperial, not at UMIST, not at Brunel or some other noted seat of scientific learning, but at the NW London Poly and the LSE , where he would appear to have studied sociology or something of that sort, so he is clearly the ideal candidate to ponder high-end science.

And just to crank up the cyncism meter to 11, the sciencehorizons programme will be run by Dialogue by Design, Demos, the Graphic Science Unit, BBC Worldwide Interactive Learning and Shared Practice.

Dialogue by design specialises in working for the state sector and has directors associated with sundry modish left wing causes

As for Demos, I'll let Wikipedia do the leg work: "Demos is an influential left-wing think tank based in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1993 by journalists from Marxism Today, the theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). In the run up to the 1997 UK general election it was seen as being close to the Labour Party, in particular the current leader Tony Blair. It is however, independent of any political party".

The Graphic Science Unit seems to have trouble capitalising proper names and writes toe-curlingly awful prose and notes its projects including 'cool science' and 'wow science'. As to the BBC, you fill in the gaps.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:25 pm

I dont look at all like any of those people so it isnt an inclusive meeting , I feel betrayed and demand my rights.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:27 pm

Not Trevor McDonald or the lead singer or Sigue Sigue Sputnik at the back?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:39 pm

Superb C almost sleuthingly dogged in your pursuit .This , of course is where all the money goes.Terrific

Nonetheless why don` we hold a little cut price forum of our own on the technolgy we would like to see in the future . I have some ideas.

1 pleasure-bot ( thats bot, short for robot not bottom)
2 for Gays - The pleasurebot-bot

3 the feelysuit for long distance lovers

4 the virtual brothelising experience generator...for me

5 The synthetic agree-er. ( set to put up resistance and then collapse under the superior might of Conservatism) comes in red and yellow.

6The Pub you are allowed to smoke in

7 The country you are free to live in as you see fit

Oh come on now newmania you are raving !!

Oh appropos of nothing get this Millipedism " Wasn`t the Labour Party fortunate that when they were looking for a Party to affiliate with they chose the Labour Party"...um he really does have a good grasp of the history of his own party ...(thats sarcasm C )  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:41 pm

Wasn`t the Labour Party fortunate that when they ..

oops the "they " in question are the trade unions....all is clear I hope  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:47 pm

The government doesn't want us to know anything about science, in case we realise that they don't either.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:56 pm

That Millipedism was indeed a jaw dropper of the first stripe...  

Anonymous verity said... 1:58 pm

A truly heroic effort, Croydonian. But being bombarded with empty, socialist, moronic, self-serving ordure when I was on just my second sip of my first cup of tea has started the day off all wrong for me, Croydonian. You should think of your readers overseas.

Does this "artist" - soi-disant; I detected no sign of talent or technical ability - think that four out of 11 people in Britain are brown? And three of them are brown women? Anyone spot a socialist agenda here? I'm sick of the face of Britain being presented based on London demographics. Of course, inept propaganda's all they know as they have been unable to achieve anything worthwhile in 10 long years.

He missed out an intense woman in a burka, a beardy fellow wearing a fashionable suicide belt, an sharp, intense-looking Chinese woman who you just knew was a software designer.

I don't know who this Wicks is, but I know I hate him.  

Anonymous nick drew said... 2:02 pm

Mr mania I don't think I have ever seen a more revealing wish-list than yours above

You are a true exhibitionist

I am glad the nugget still gives you pleasure  

Anonymous verity said... 2:14 pm

Oh, yes, and I wonder why one of the government's very,very favourite groups, gays, wasn't represented by a thin, madly stylish man sitting with his legs tightly crossed.

Types! We need types!  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:16 pm

..and what would the Drew wish list be then

1 The auto-nit ( with pick attachment) for combing posts
2 The rhymo-bot ..for torturing innocent bystanders
3 The self emptying wallet for “your round” application
4 The military anecdote randomising narrative machine ..for instant fiction.
5 The historical costume auto fit boudoir? For sirs apparel

…Thats all I `ve got so far Nick but I`m working like a busy bee on some more

Verity you would need more Brown people to represent London demo graphics which are over half .. by a fair way.The fastest growing group are mixed race...
( I do what I can)  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:41 pm

Glad to note that the designer managed to fit in a couple of japanese manga characters.
Verity I don't know if you have visited London lately, if you haven't I suggest you stay away,it would break your heart . We are 5 years away from goats and chickens wandering the streets.  

Anonymous nick drew said... 2:46 pm

Mr 'Santa' mania, this is only Jan 25th but you have arrived already!

Happily the rhymo-bot already exists (www.rhymezone.com) but I am certainly in the market for the rest

You can add to that list the self-OCR-scanning-press-cuttings-bot, and when I get one I shall hire it to your goodself for a modest fee  

Anonymous nick drew said... 2:52 pm

Is that graphic the work of Bob Piper? I swear that's Her Maj in blackface down at the back...

Don't tell Praguetory, you know what will happen

Quite realistic actually, HMQ always gets roped in to these 'community' things, forced to drink the ghastly tea  

Anonymous David Allen said... 3:37 pm

PHITCH _ "We are 5 years away from goats and chickens wandering the streets." That got the biggest (hysterical) laugh of the day! Newmania _ sound like your 'hood?
Verity _ 4 out of 11? I make it at least 5, possibly 6 out of 11 _ but I may have a dodgy screen....  

Anonymous Justin said... 3:38 pm

Multi-cultural? In parts of London, like Tottenham, we are just 5 years away from goats and chickens wandering the sreets!  

Anonymous verity said... 5:49 pm

No, I haven't been to London for ages. When I left for France, Luton was the easiest to get to and easiest to carry two cat carriers around. Stanstead didn't bear thinking of. I cannot think of a single reason to go back. Plus, probably the worst airport in the entire world is Heathrow, which is so loathesome it gives me the creeps.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:44 pm

great program on www.infowars.com
some black guy ranting about illegal immigration in the USA
same as is happening here.  

Anonymous verity said... 8:31 pm

PHitch - thank you for the knightly defence over on Guido's.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:37 pm

you're welcome (+:
I am afraid Pete is yet another brainwashed clone , poor boy doesnt even have a grasp of the basics.
Being of a certain age (43) I remember Ronald Reagan and the Blessed Mrs T describing the economy as being like a household budget , spend more than you earn and you are storing up trouble save and invest and you will get to enjoy as much prosperity as you are smart enough to earn.
Ah well, some peole need to be taught harsh lessons.
I get the feeling that pete is one of the idiots who are about to get their arses taught.  

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