Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-11-05 - 10:43 a.m.

Steve and I had a go at the final summary panel from the Goodwood survey before handing it over to Esmond. I had a glance at the engineering students questionnaire responses which are just starting to come in - this looks as if it is going to be pretty good fun. This weekend I think I am going to have to do the teachersí questionnaire. Peter Day was on Radio 4 last night banging on about how engineers are going to save the world - I am not sure this is the right approach.

The Total Factor Productivity stuff is beginning to fall into place - Stephen and I are beginning to dig down into the theory

I set out to find Edgbaston cricket ground last night - it took a while but I managed it in the end. Not a sporting adventure - it had been chosen as the location for a presentation on a big research project by the leading WM university. Itís the sort of event where I usually have a lot to say and I tried to keep myself in check. In fact I had tooth ache which helped shut me up. When I got home I treated it with dark rum which seemed to do the trick for a while. That and deep breathing. The project on show at Edgbaston is about the skills needed to facilitate the up-take of technology by smaller companies. I bumped into various people and swapped a few ideas etc. Drove home very carefully and had an early night but did manage to watch some of the programme about the genome - it seemed to be more about the inheritance of acquired characteristics rather than DNA talking in metaphor.

Next morning I got up early to go to Loughborough - its closer than you think to Leamington - thereí some psychological reason the distance gets exaggerated. On the way there I listened to the Richard Long tape - the new car has a tape player. I began to see his focus on the natural world as related to Ted Hughesí world view. The supposition is that in doing art we should regard ourselves as part of the natural world rather than creating something timeless that stands outside it. This kind of thinking goes back to the Arts and Crafts movement probably. The approach assumes that although there is some nasty stuff in the natural world it does us good to face up to it. I am not sure that modern times sign up to this any more - rather thereís a tendency to think we can re-make ourselves through technology. Certainly I donít feel any better for negotiating with my toothaches.

There was food for thought at Louthborough - I had to drive back in a hurry to the centre of Birmingham for a lunchtime meeting with Regional Cluster - which had even more food for thought plus some gossip. I dug out the detail of Delphi study which I had learned about in the morning - a collection of experts asked to guess the future in a structured way.

It looks as if Trevor Dannís ND bio could be out next week.

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