Science & technology
Emerging Writers’ Festival 2020 Programme Launch: Digital Nostalgia
We often speak of the internet as the Bad Place, but it’s also vital for many people to access resources and services, entertainment and community – perhaps now more so than ever. From discussion forums and MSN crushes to TikTok choreographies and pandemic meetings and parties on Zoom, online spaces continue to offer a gathering place for when we can’t…
The Fifth Estate
Live-stream: State of Emergence
There is little doubt now that the COVID-19 coronavirus will drastically alter our lives, communities and societies for some time to come. Amid confusing, contradictory or misleading information about how we should respond – and how we should protect ourselves and each other – the pandemic has already tested our social fabric. How the crisis will affect our healthcare, economic and…
Live-stream: The Problem of Consciousness
This event has been cancelled. Ticket holders have been contacted directly.
What do we mean when we talk about consciousness? For a long time, many scientists steered clear of the study of consciousness, deeming it impossible to observe and subjective by definition.
But that’s changing, thanks to imaginative interdisciplinary research and to new neuroimaging tools that allow scientists to monitor…
Digital Futures: New Media, Storytelling and Disability
It’s no secret that the digital media industry has been the site of rapid and surprising change in recent decades. The market for screen content of all kinds – as well as screen-adjacent storytelling like podcasts – is hungry for fresh stories and new, authentic voices. And as platforms multiply and consolidate, the boundaries between mass market and niche have softened.
The Wheeler Centre
The Future is Fungal
Vanessa Toholka, Gavin McIntyre and Brian Pickles at the Wheeler Centre
Mushrooms, it seems, have some uncanny properties. Fungi are more closely related to humans than plants, and if we can work with our fungal cousins, we might find a way to reduce waste – and perhaps even salvage our planet.
Gavin McIntyre and Brian Pickles are two ‘bio-neers’ whose work is at the forefront of the new mushroom movement. McIntyre is co-founder and chief scientist at the New York-based biofabrication company, Ecovative, where he’s developing fungal mycelium products to replace plastics, wood, leather and even bricks. Pickles is an ecologist at the University of Reading and part of a pioneering research team that is unlocking the secrets of the mysterious symbiotic system known as mycorrhiza. He has found that trees can communicate, thanks to underground mushroom networks, which connect trees at their roots.
At the Wheeler Centre, Vanessa Toholka joins McIntyre and Pickles to discuss the implications of their discoveries and inventions, as they make the case for a fungal future.
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The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions
What future do we want – and deserve? Questions for the places, politics and pleasures of the hereafter
Man Macmillan Signs Up First Title for Ebook Imprint
An Australian writer is seeking to become a pioneer of digital publishing with a venture that’s making the most of new publishing technologies. Nathan Farrugia has an ambitious project in mind - in fact, he’s calling it ‘the future of story-telling’. The Chimera Vector is, according to its author, “a conspiracy techno-thriller of unusual depth, snappy dialogue and edge-of-your-seat action”. Farrugia has turned to…
Dymocks Opens the Floodgates
A leading Australian book retailer is getting into the publishing business with the launch of an online self-publishing service. Dymocks is the first major Australian book retailer to have entered the online publishing fray with the D Publishing Network. The service offers a fully-functional suite of services for turning a standard Word document into a book and/or ebook. The service can print colour images…
If you’ve been looking at the newspaper and thinking you could do a better job then Schmedlines could prove to be the perfect distraction.
The idea is simple: get a real news story with a weak headline and then invite users to submit their alternatives. Today there’s a story about a Montana jury who have decided they won’t convict for the possession of a…
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