I’m a lapsed scientist. After dreaming of driving over tropical savannahs in a Landrover, I ended up unsuccessfully trying to coax DNA out of fungi. I gave that up in favour of evolutionary biology and running barefoot through muddy fields of genetic data.
Following six years in some of the world’s scientific fleshpots — Honolulu, Wallaceville, Munich — I evolved into a G-man. First assessing risks of genetically modified organisms, and then as a science adviser at New Zealand’s recently departed Ministry of Research, Science & Technology. At the latter I did get to roam, sans Landrover, through fields of emerging technologies, tracking the spoor of political, public and professorial beasts that migrated over them.
It was my pleasure in the last few year’s to lead the Ministry’s Futurewatch programme, whose purpose was to help government agencies develop early warnings of emerging technologies and to begin thinking about their implications. I’m now a free agent but I’ll be continuing ‘environmental scanning’ and foresighting in this blog.
I can also put together irreverent PowerPoint presentations if you are in the market for those.