A DTI-funded public engagement programme,Sciencehorizons, aims to broaden the debate on how developments in science and technology could be used in the future.

Sciencehorizons website

A new public engagement programme, Sciencehorizons, is offering teachers and their students the opportunity to influence government policy by discussing the science and technologies of the future. Launched in January by Malcolm Wicks MP, the minister for science and innovation, the one-year project is funded by the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) and aims to broaden the debate on how developments in science and technology could be used in the future.  

As part of the programme, public discussions are scheduled to run in science centres, museums, town halls etc across the UK until June 2007. Class groups are also welcome to run their own discussions and contribute their views.  

To stimulate debate the project team, led by Martin Earwicker, director of the Science Museum in London, has developed a discussion pack and interactive website. The pack contains stories about what life might be like in 2025 based on the views of science and technology experts from government, industry, academia and the media. The stories cover four themes, which could be affected by currently emerging science and technology: mind and body; home and community; work and leisure; people and planet. Topics up for debate include stem cell technology, treating Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, lab-on-a-chip technology, energy production and carbon emissions. Included with the pack is information about the science behind the possible scenarios, and some links to where you can find more information. 

The results of the Sciencehorizons programme will be presented to the Government in autumn 2007. This public feedback will be used to inform policy decisions about the direction of research and regulation of science and technology. 

For further information about the programme, a calendar of events, and to request a resource pack visit the Sciencehorizons website.

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A new public engagement programme