Monday, 22 November 2010


Date: Wednesday 24 November, 2010 at 4pm
Venue: Pippard Lecture Theatre, Cavendish Laboratory, Dept. of Physics, J.J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0HE
Tel: +31 20545 8934
Admission: Free
Organiser: Canon Foundation in Europe

To mark the anniversary of 20 years existence of the Canon Foundation in Europe, it established a series of lectures to be held throughout Europe over 5 years. The 4th lecture in this series will take place in co-operation with the Cavendish Physical Society on "Creative tensions between science and technology" by Professor Sir Richard Henry Friend.

Professor Sir Richard Friend is a Cavendish Professor at the University of Cambridge where he leads the Optoelectronics Group in the Cavendish Laboratory. He has been involved in the scientific discoveries underlying the emergence of plastic electronics and in its commercial development. Professor Friend has over 600 publications and more than 60 patents. He was knighted for "Services to Physics" in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, 2003.

Many of the big discoveries in science have come about after a breakthrough in technology (Galileo needed lens-making technology before he could construct his telescope). However, current popular perceptions of the scientific method are different – too often science is presented as a series of ‘grand challenges’ where we all know where the important next problem lies. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is thus presented as the machine to find the Higgs boson. Long-range research is now the preserve of the universities in much of the industrialized world. The relationship between university researchers and the generators of new technology in industrial and commercial organizations is not always valued appropriately, but can provide real value in both directions.

Sir Richard will draw on local examples of university- industrial cooperation, drawing attention both to interactions with smaller companies and also larger organizations, such as the Japanese companies that have played a strong role in this.

The Canon Foundation in Europe is a philanthropic, grant-making institution, active in the promotion of international cultural and scientific relations, exchange of now-how and mutual understanding between Europe and Japan. The Foundation grants up to 15 Research Fellowships annually for Europeans to undertake research in Japan and vice versa.

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