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Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It

Gemma Milne

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Popular science

An insightful guide to cutting through the hype (and idealism) that blinds us in the world of science and technology. Gemma Milne looks at nine different areas of research, from feeding the world to cures for cancer, and reveals how we're prevented from seeing what is really going on in the world, and held back from making real progress.

'Couldn't be more timely. Fascinating and vitally important'
Jamie Bartlett, author of THE PEOPLE VS TECH

'A much-needed blast of fresh air! Gemma Milne expertly shows us how to separate the truth from the hype surrounding the emerging techs of today, and those of the near-tomorrow.'
Lewis Dartnell, author of ORIGINS: HOW THE EARTH MADE US

'I loved this book! This is exactly the sort of sceptical, cut-through-the crap-but-still-excited-about-what's-emerging book around tech innovation that's sorely needed, yet is so hard to find . . . essential reading for anyone who's serious about how real-world advances might be effectively harnessed to build a better future.'
Dr Andrew Maynard, scientist and author of FILMS FROM THE FUTURE and FUTURE RISING

'SMOKE & MIRRORS is a vital contribution in a world where technological progress promises so much, but too often disappoints. If, like me, you believe that advances in science and technology are our best hope for solving the grand challenges of our times, this book is the indispensable guide to avoiding the mirages and the charlatans along the way.'
Matt Clifford, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First

'A refreshingly grown-up, clear-headed look at the interaction between science, technology and the media -
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Praise for Smoke & Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future and How to See Past It

  • 'Couldn't be more timely. Fascinating and vitally important'

  • A much-needed blast of fresh air! Gemma Milne expertly shows us how to separate the truth from the hype surrounding the emerging techs of today, and those of the near-tomorrow.

  • I loved this book! This is exactly the sort of sceptical, cut-through-the crap-but-still-excited-about-what's-emerging book around tech innovation that's sorely needed, yet is so hard to find. Gemma Milne's writing sparkles and delights as she strips away the hype around nine cutting-edge areas of science and technology while revealing possibilities that are all the more compelling as a result. More than an antidote to over-hyped tech, Smoke & Mirrors is essential reading for anyone who's serious about how real-world advances might be effectively harnessed to build a better future.

  • Smoke & Mirrors is a vital contribution in a world where technological progress promises so much, but too often disappoints. If, like me, you believe that advances in science and technology are our best hope for solving the grand challenges of our times, this book is the indispensable guide to avoiding the mirages and the charlatans along the way.

  • A refreshingly grown-up, clear-headed look at the interaction between science, technology and the media - readable without being dumbed down, acknowledging complexities without being heavy.

  • Stop following the news until you've read Gemma Milne's persuasive analysis of the hype and bullshit that distort our understanding of emerging science. As she shows, the starting point to grasping the genuine opportunities of AI, life sciences and climate tech is a healthy dose of critical thinking

  • In this book, we see technological hype for what it is: not mere exuberance, but a form of attention-seeking. As some technological hucksters stake claims on our future and try to foreclose alternatives, we need strong defences. Gemma Milne offers a spotter's guide to hype, using science to bring speculation down to earth. People inside and outside the world of technological innovation need this book.

  • A really interesting read . . . thought-provoking. It shines a spotlight on issues that are all too frequently left out of the narrative around over-hyped technological innovation. For those working in science communication and general tech lovers alike, this book will certainly open your eyes to some important questions. - Chemistry World

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Gemma Milne

GEMMA MILNE is a Scottish science and technology writer and podcaster, whose works has been published or broadcast by the BBC, the Guardian, CNBC, Offscreen Magazine, Quartz and others. She is also the Deep Tech and Science Startup Contributor for Forbes Europe. Gemma is the co-founder of Science: Disrupt - a media outlet covering advances in science startups, research process and industries such as space, energy, health and advanced computing. She works with the World Economic Forum as one of their Global Shapers, and is also a scientific advisor to the European Commission, helping them decide which scientific innovations should be funded with government money. She is also a Venture Scout for Venture Capital firm Backed VC. She is on the Innovation Juries for SXSW and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and has delivered keynote addresses at SXSW, TEDx, WPP Stream, Cannes Lions and Dubai Lynx on many different science and technology topics. She has won many awards in the technology, science and startup space including Best Startup Founder at the FDM Everywoman in Technology awards 2018, and Best Future Leader at the Tech Leader Awards from Information Age in 2017 and was a Finalist in the IPSE Freelancer of the Year awards.

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