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We love simple stories of how the world works, but are these straightforward answers hiding uncertainties, opportunities and terrible dangers?
It's nice to have a simple explanation for how things work, but what if our preference for confident, straightforward answers is blinding us to more messy, complicated truths- with potentially dangerous results? Lydia Nicholas walks us through examples from biotechnology and data analytics and challenges us to face up to complicated truths, beautiful uncertainties, and the extraordinary opportunities in mess.
Lydia Nicholas is a anthropologist who works in places where data, identities, bodies and biotechnologies meet, focusing on futures and networks, often using fiction and design as a research and communication tool. She has consulted for the Wellcome Trust, and the BBC, the UK Cabinet Office’s Big Data Ethics board and the Science Museum’s Big Data exhibit. She is a Senior Researcher in Collective Intelligence at Nesta, the UK's innovation charity, where she researches how people use new digital platforms to collaborate, how health communities can mobilise to form social movements, and the ethics and regulation of using machine learning systems in government decisions.