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PolicyLab event: discussion about science and technology priorities


PolicyLab panel discussion

Read a transcript of the audio podcast of the event.

Event details

Innovations in science and technology are taking our society further than we might have hoped possible, at a pace more rapid than we could have envisioned, even 20 years ago. These advances have touched all our lives, including the lives of disabled people, through such technology as hearing implants, software for speech recognition and dictation and devices to manage chronic disease, like type 1 diabetes.

But could innovation do more to remove barriers to access? Or are those already disabled by current infrastructures at risk of being left further behind as innovation progresses without considering their needs?

This PolicyLab event brought together businesses, NGOs, policymakers and researchers to discuss innovation processes and how we can develop and implement them to build a more accessible and inclusive society for all.

Professor Geoffrey Boulton FRS, chaired the following panel:

  • Stephen Hicks, a Research Fellow in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, who leads the development of visual enhancement technologies for blind and partially sighted individuals. 
  • Claire Mookerjee, a Project Manager at the Future Cities Catapult, a global centre of excellence on urban innovation and who is currently working on a new collaboration with Guide Dogs and Microsoft called Cities Unlocked.   
  • Dr John Conway, Director of Research and Disability Officer at the Royal Agricultural University and Chair, STEM Disability Committee.
  • Rohan Slaughter, Assistant Principal SCOPE’s Beaumont College in Lancaster, who was involved in the development of SCOPE’s ‘Enabling Technology’ report and Connected Society programme with BT and the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Inclusive Design.

Blog posts

Dr John Conway

Rohan Slaughter