1 October 2013

Mark Miodownik: Strange Material

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SCI's London Group


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The development of the silicon chip fifty years ago was the materials science innovation that sparked the information technology revolution. Such new materials do more than transform technology, they change behaviour and shape the urban landscape, from our cities, to our hospitals, to our homes, to our art. Thus, materials are a defining characteristic of society: its history, culture and economic welfare. As a result materiality is one of the central themes of study in every university. However in contemporary universities the scientists involved in making new materials (e.g. physicists, chemists, materials scientists) very rarely get involved with those who study the cultural & environmental significance and impact of materials (e.g. humanities academics and social scientists), and are often further distanced from those who use materials (e.g. nurses, medics, engineers, architects, designers). This has a serious detrimental effect on the teaching culture of universities and their capacity to engage with the wider world, since many of the important issues of contemporary society, such as health, security, climate change and economic sustainability, require a multi-disciplinary approach in order to arrive at solutions that benefit society as a whole, and not just limited sectors of the economy or community. This talk describes a project to build a Materials Library and to use the stuff it contains as a material language to engage in a multidisciplinary approach to research and teaching.
Venue and Contact


Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ 
Please click here for a location map.

The lecture will be preceded by tea/coffee in the Nyholm room and followed by a Mixer in the Nyholm Room.

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Tel: 0207 598 1594

Email: Communications@soci.org

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Mark Miodownik
University College London