Sparks! enables those serendipituous conversations for curious minds that lead to beautiful collaborations across disciplines. In these annual events, there is a podcast grounding some of the key aspects of the topic, a series of short talks to spark ideas, and a forum to allow those ideas to be nurtured and grow together.
2nd Edition - Why Future Technology for Health?
The theme for the second edition was Future Technology for Health. Whether in the domains of prevention, diagnosis or treatment, the topics for this edition of Sparks! sought to ask new questions linking medical technologies to fundamental science, ethics, globalisation and more.
CERN has actively pursued medical applications of nuclear research since the 1970s, and the importance of global collaboration across the medical field has never been so pronounced. Therefore, this year we brought together some of the best minds at the forefront of not only the technology and research, but also the ethical and social dimensions which we must collaborate on. In a future with more people, more pandemics, and longer life spans, it is moments such as these that are so important to stop and think deeply of how we move forward together.
As science becomes ever-more specialised, the complex problems facing society require knowledge and expertise from more than just one field. Scientific serendipity can no longer be taken for granted: it needs to be curated, and that is what Sparks! aims to do. Multidisciplinary discussion and collaboration is essential, yet few platforms exist offering opportunities for such interactions. As a centre of excellence in science and technology, one of the largest laboratories hosting collaborative research in the world, and a leader in fields as diverse as accelerators, detectors, superconducting magnets and IT, CERN is ideally placed to host such multidisciplinary discussions and guide them to conclusions that will benefit society as a whole.
The Sparks! Forum format is that of an annual two-day multidisciplinary science innovation forum and public event. The Sparks! Serendipity Forum at CERN aims to bring together renowned scientists from diverse fields around the world, along with decision makers, representatives of industry, ethicists and the public to bring a novel, multi-faceted approach to addressing some of the big questions of our time.