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Based at The University of Edinburgh, the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum is part of the ESRC Genomics Network and pioneers new ways to promote and communicate social research on the contemporary life sciences.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Gold-Farmers, 3-D Printers, and Bad Actors

Ken MacLeod is part of the ESRC Genomics Forum Writers team covering the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011.

Cory Doctorow, at the Book Festival on Sunday to talk about his novel Makers, is well-known not only as a science-fiction writer but as a social critic and activist in the hot fields of copyright, online security, and emerging media. Boing Boing, the blog he co-edits, is itself a social media phenomenon: when he posted about The Human Genre Project - one of the Genomics Forum's literary initiatives - our site's Google results went through the roof as it suddenly became world famous for the proverbial fifteen minutes.

He kindly gave me an interview that ranged over the possibilities for post-industrial society, the role of thought experiments - what physicists call 'gedanken experiments' - in devising science-fictional scenarios, unequal exchange in the global economy, and whether cracking down on Twitter and other social media would be a sensible response to the anti-social behaviour they sometimes enable. Naturalised as a British citizen only days earlier, Cory has lost none of his liberal bite - though it's characteristic of him that as we continued to chat afterwards he explained how carefully he'd considered his oath of loyalty to Her Majesty and her lawful successors.

Born in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Ken has been a full time writer since 1997 authoring thirteen novels, including The Star Fraction (1995) and Intrusion (forthcoming, 2012), plus many articles and short stories. His novels and stories have received three BSFA awards and three Prometheus Awards, and several have been short-listed for the Clarke and Hugo Awards. In 2009 he was a Writer in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum. Learn more from Ken’s blog The Early Days of a Better Nation

1 comment:

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