Lancaster University

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Safety in the modern world

10/08/2007 14:25:05

Professor Cynthia Weber
Professor Cynthia Weber

This week Lancaster University launched a year long research programme exploring the idea of safety in the modern world.

The threat of global terrorism, GM food scares, turbulent financial markets, Foot-and-Mouth epidemics and internet fraud are just some of the things that threaten to upset the world we live in.

Over the coming year, researchers, designers and scientists from the UK and abroad will ask whether science, technology and design can offer solutions to our fears by making us feel safer – for example through better airport design – or whether these measures in fact keep us in a state of anxiety.

Programme organizer Professor Cynthia Weber said: “This programme investigates if sciences like biogenetics are rendering our food, our bodies, our environments, and even our futures safe. It considers whether or not contemporary technologies of protection – like high-pitched sounds designed to discourage teenagers from congregating in public spaces or on-line security practices designed to secure our data and our data doubles – actually protect us or do they merely multiply our fears and anxieties?”

New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living was launched at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Lancaster University on October 4-5.

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