Science and Human Dimension Project

SHDP is a public understanding of science and technology based at Jesus College, University of Cambridge since 1990.

Science Human

Through conferences, publishing, and films, SHDP brings together the scientific research community with experts from industry, government, the arts and the media to broaden the appreciation of new ideas and discoveries in science and technology and broader STEMM, and to ask searching questions about the ethical dilemmas they pose for humanity.

About the project

Addressing important ethical questions

SHDP addresses important ethical questions, such as the controversy over human embryonic stem cell research, super intelligent machines and artificial intelligence (AI).

At times we tackle subjects illustrative of knowledge purely for its own sake.

Helping to bring work to a wider audience

SHDP helps researchers and companies bring their work to a wide audience of experts and general public through well organised events with carefully chosen participants. We have worked with many research groups and businesses, for example organising a conference in 2017 with DeepMind on AI, memory and imagination.

SHDP and Outreach

SHDP have a strong track record in achieving outreach from Cambridge University and research beyond to the media and a wider non-specialist public through journalism, film, exhibitions and books.

The project directors have produced conferences and reports on a wide range of vital issues including:

Consciousness and Human Identity; Artificial Intelligence; Cyber Security; Food Security; Inequality; Infrastructure; The Financial Crisis; Big Data; Blockchain and Bitcoin; The Future of Research-based Universities; The North-South divide; Ageing in the UK; The Future of Work; Fake News; Climate Change.

Conference proceedings and books have been published by SHDP, Oxford University Press, Bloomsbury, Viking Penguin and Profile. Journalism related to the project has appeared in most national newspapers.

Science Human
AI & the Future of Humanity

AI & the Future of Humanity

From August 2017 SHDP ran a two-year project consisting of three conferences on AI and the Future of Humanity. The project was funded by Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF).

The first conference on in March 2018 discussed our hopes and fears for AI as featured in Science Fiction – read the AI in Sci Fi conference report. The Singularity Summit was held in September 2018 – read the Singularity Summit report, and third on AI, ethical and religious perspectives in May 2019 - read the AI - Ethical and Religious Perspectives report.

AI, Art and Creativity

Art and Science - Exhibition Programming

SHDP has experience curating and producing art exhibitions. We are interested in communicating important scientific and technological ideas and dilemmas through the arts.

We have advised cultural institutions on AI versus human creativity, curated an exhibition of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's work alongside a conference on the philosophy of mind, and in 2020 SHDP executive director Johnny Cornwell is producing a series of symposia at the Venice Biennale - 17th International Architecture Exhibition on the theme: How will we live together? The symposia form part of the Majlis exhibition which is curated by Dr Thierry Morel for the Caravane Foundation.