On Friday 24 October 2014, the Science Museum celebrated the launch of a new permanent gallery; Information Age. The gallery explores over 200 years of information and communication technologies and was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen who marked the occasion by sending the first tweet by a reigning monarch. In the afternoon, the Museum’s IMAX auditorium continued the celebrations, bringing together a panel of some of the world’s leading thinkers and entrepreneurs to share their insights and predictions about the big events that have shaped the communication technology we are familiar with today, and look ahead to what the future may hold.
We’re repeatedly told that we are experiencing more rapid technological advances than ever before. But over the past two centuries, our predecessors witnessed transformational developments in communication technology that were arguably far more revolutionary, from the laying of the first telegraph cable that connected the UK and USA to the birth of radio and TV broadcasting.
What can we learn from their experiences? Is what we are going through truly an unparalleled revolution, or does our focus on the now distort our perspective on an ongoing evolution in our relationship to information?
Chaired by Tom Standage, Digital Editor of The Economist and author of The Victorian Internet and Writing on the Wall, the expert panel brought together to discuss this question featured:
- Hermann Hauser, computing engineer and co-founder of venture capital firm Amadeus Capital Partners
- Baroness Martha Lane Fox, co-founder of lastminute.com, Chancellor of the Open University, chair of Go ON and board member of Marks and Spencer
- Mo Ibrahim, mobile communications entrepreneur and founder of Celtel, one of Africa’s leading telecommunications operators, and
- Jim Gleick, best-selling author of Chaos and The Information
The opening of Information Age marks the start of the biggest period of development of the Museum since it was opened over a century ago. Over the next five years, about a third of the Museum will be transformed by exciting new galleries, including a brand new mathematics gallery designed by Stirling Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.