ON THE FLOOR of the 2007 BT Young Scientist Exhibition in Dublin, I was drawn to several exhibitions that showed a keen awareness of technology. Most of those exhibits were nothing new to tech bloggers but they showed a willingness by teenagers to integrate clever technology into their lives. We focused on teens from Tipperary and Kilkenny since we attract a fair share of those residents into our multimedia degree programme in Tipperary Institute. I'm always encouraged by students who are able to intuitively connect to gadgets they see offered for sale because many of these students live in areas where their elected local councillors do not use e-mail. Some day those paid representatives need to recognise how their unwillingness to embrace communications technology fosters a digital divide across the generations.
My copy of the Economist brings me these words, echoed by Euan Semple:
In the past, innovation was driven by the military or corporate markets. But now the consumer market, with its vast economies of scale and appetite for novelty, leads the way. Compared with the staid corporate-software industry, using these services is like “receiving technology from an advanced civilisation”.
On the floor the RDS this week, those under the age of 18 often are kindred spirits with members from that advanced civilisation.
As I thumb through some of the Young Scientist reports, I encounter several instances where it would be helpful for the students to be able to publish their data on maps licensed by the Ordnance Survey of Ireland. There is a rich strand of local research that will never reach the eyes of the next generation because it cannot be electronically published due to licensing restrictions.
Euan Semple -- "The Economist on the Relentless March of the Quiet Revolution"