Oxford Brookes Univesity ©

Oxford Brookes Univesity

Tuesday 21 November 2017 -
18:00 to 20:00

According to the most recent HESA statistics (2015 - 2016), engineering and technology subject area is ranked second among top subjects that attract most Vietnamese students to UK universities. The number of student enrolment in this subject area has all increased for the past five years. Capturing that need, the British Council Vietnam and Oxford Brookes University, UK hold a public seminar on engineering and technology in Hanoi on 21 November and Ho Chi Minh City on 23 November 2017. 


Humankind has always engaged in future gazing. But today the future appears to be crashing down upon us. The world is changing so fast that it has become almost meaningless picturing a world 50 years away. Tomorrow’s world has become the subject of our gaze.

This lecture by former television producer and film director, Paul Inman (now Pro Vice Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University) explores the blurred boundaries between science fiction and technological truth. In particular, we will be asked to consider a future imagined by the science and technology research communities where the digital replaces the human.

Drawing on a rich seam of imagined futures provided by novelists and filmmakers and case studies of current research projects, and commercial innovations, the lecture will paint both a dystopian vision and an accompanying world of opportunity for university faculty.

The lecture will provide a controversial commentary on leading scientific and technological fields including, robotics, artificial intelligence, biotech, nanotechnology, and neuroscience. How might these disciplines alter our perception of reality, including how we experience life and relate to other human beings?

The internet has provided us with hyper-connectivity, which has led to a massive increase in transparency and openness, but it has also brought with it a corresponding decimation of our private lives. We are now at a pivotal moment in our history where we need to choose what is best carried out in public, and what we’d prefer to keep ‘hidden’.

As futurologist, Richard Watson points out, ‘it was once possible to make jokes about connecting trees, cows and toothbrushes to the internet, but you can’t do this any longer because all of these things now exist.’ This is the internet of things - a sacred space with its attendant excitement about wearable computing, smart sensors, big data, and gamification.

Because the speaker is one of life’s optimists and a pragmatist, he will paint a picture where the future will need us, but where we will also need to be very clever indeed to exploit its potential and avoid its pitfalls.

Speaker short bio

Paul Inman is Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University. He is a member of the university’s senior management team leading on international student recruitment.

In 2017, Oxford Brookes was listed as one of the top 200 most international universities in the world (THE World University Rankings), and one of the top 50 young universities in the world by the (QS World University Rankings).

Oxford Brookes has recently opened up and extended recruitment offices in China, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and increased alumni activity and partnership articulation in five targeted regions around the world. Paul successfully led the recent initiative to establish a Confucius Institute in Oxford in partnership with Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP), one of China’s largest academic publishers.

Alongside his senior management work in UK universities, Paul has had a parallel career as a filmmaker and television producer and has had his work broadcast widely. He is a Council member of Ruskin College, Oxford, and has been variously a director of a University Technology College, board member of Digital Cornwall (superfast broadband roll-out), a founding director of Source FM radio station, and a Director of Fifteen Cornwall, the restaurant and social enterprise set up by TV chef and celebrity, Jamie Oliver.

Paul was an early adopter of Twitter and can be found tweeting at @pinman

Event Detailed Timeline

Time Activities
17.30–18.00 Participants arrive
18.00–19.00 Seminar
19.00–19.15 Questions and answers
19.15–20.00 Individual counselling and interview with university representatives

Register today not to miss out helpful information about the potential development of these fields and the importance of educating Engineering and Technology in the UK:

Event in Hanoi – 21 November 2017