"We have entered the Century of the Environment, in which the immediate future is usefully conceived as a bottleneck. Science and technology, combined with a lack of self-understanding and a Paleolithic obstinacy, brought us to where we are today. Now science and technology, combined with foresight and moral courage, must see us through the bottleneck and out." – Edward O. Wilson
The world faces an interlocking combination of crises. One of the big challenges is in resources. By using them up too fast, we're damaging our environment and risking scarcity costs. We have a further massive challenge in the global economy, which at one time seemed set for apparently endless growth, and now looks much less stable. Out of the economic problems is coming a third crisis, of political instability and a harder tone in international relations.
New technologies, if applied with foresight and care, can solve problems of resources and environment, and they can also create economic regeneration, locally and internationally.
So science and technology hold the answers – if we act now.
That message is coming through worldwide. A big move to low-carbon technologies will stimulate the global economy, said economist Nicholas Stern in an interview with the magazine New Scientist. The new technologies could transform 21st-century society in the way that railways did in the 19th century, he says, but – 'It has got to be fast.'
And that overall focus on innovation is the message on this site. Going Nova was established as a not-for-profit network ofinnovators to identify for the Highlands and Islands the key areas of knowledge that need to be drawn on locally to sustain and develop the economy and community life of the region – and the routes to applying them.
Some of the new areas are quite abstract, for development over time; others have immediate practical benefit. On this site we will build up information about some of the areas with potential, including:
- new fuels and engines
- developments in space and astronomy
- fuzzy logic and control systems
- applications of quantum technology and materials science
Also featured on the site are key related areas of study, including communication of science, history and philosophy of science (HPS), and the challenge of developing regional science and technology strategies.
And on the Schools page you can hear about the events like the Fresh Horizons day at Horizon Scotland, when 200 senior secondary pupils from across Moray came to study topics ranging from electronics and robotics to quantum theory and spectral analysis. See the Gallery for pictures of the day.