In March, I had the pleasure of joining the board and scientific committee of the European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals to deliver the keynote at their annual dinner. Its members tasked with tackling some of humanity's most complex, therein difficult challenges, such for example as how the ilk of environmental pollution of myriad variants can be prevented, ECETOC bring together world-leading experts around leading-edge science, technologies, and thinking both in, and beyond, chemistry.
Titled, 'Through the Looking Glass: Journey's through Time and Space', my keynote examined why and how we perceive of future urban and societal possibilities as we do, using case studies past, present, and possible future in the process, before examining how new approaches, both ideological and technical, may enable us to align the materiality, design, construction, and maintenance of cities with they of the natural world - with the cycles of Earth Systems. Evidencing their understanding of how, technically speaking, chemistry, not money, makes the wider workings of the world 'go round' [how, from the molecular level upwards, material flows], ECETOC's board and committee members shared many compelling questions, reflections, and ideas on the subject.
But, keen to carry on the conversation, we've taken our discussion online, in the form of #ScienceChats which will be shared via ECETOC's social media. An initiative that will see various members and affiliates of the ECETOC community contribute their thoughts, you can join the chats via @ECETOC on Twitter, amongst other platforms.
"What role does chemistry have to play in building a better future?"
"What is the value in looking to nature when seeking to solve human problems?"
"How can we communicate about science today?"
Find out more about ECETOC and their work here.
Melissa Sterry, PhD, design scientist, systems theorist, futurologist, and serial founder inc. Bionic City®.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
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