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Today, it seems everyone wants a lab, with its connotations of curiosity, originality and experimentation.
In the 17th century, Britain’s pioneering labs were essentially gentlemen’s clubs where men carried out experiments and debated theories to the exclusion of women. Several centuries later, what has changed? Lab culture is still largely dominated by men.
Launching its new season on the topic of ‘Labs’, The Long + Short, Nesta’s digital magazine, presents a series of articles that challenge contemporary practice, from web use to city life. The science and technology journalist, Susan Watts, has spoken to prominent women working in labs to find out why they remain in the minority.
To coincide with publication of her piece, Susan will host a panel discussion at Nesta, to work out how best to redress the balance and to produce a plan of action. She will kickstart the evening with her own manifesto for change.
So, if the ‘lab’ is to be more than a lazy term for a Shoreditch brainstorming outfit, and generate new ways to tackle 21st-century problems, what kind of place does it need it to be? What’s the balance between academic and commercial, urban and suburban, citizen-scientist and professional? What will the lab of the future look like, and where will it be found?
Find out at thelongandshort.org.
Registration opens at 5.30pm with the event starting promptly at 6pm, followed by networking drinks until 8pm.
Click here to register for a place.
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