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The Dark Side of Science

April 12th 2018

On the 12th of April, at 17:00, we are back with three speakers on the subjects of science and business. This month we challenge scientists to think about what could potentially go wrong if their field of science advanced in a wrong way. Get your free ticket via Eventbrite and join us for an evening of talks and drinks and food at HUBspot Leiden!


Ellen Willemse

We are excited to announce that this Thursday, biologist, former knowledge broker, futurist and science fiction enthusiast Ellen Willemse will be hosting our ‘Dark Side of Science’ Special.

She will challenge both speakers and audience to think ahead, about future (possibly dark) scenarios as a result of current research and probably leave us discussing and dreaming through the rest of the evening (or indefinitely?).

Peter Joosten

Genes are the building blocks of biology. They are the operating system of life. CRISPR/cas9 is a recent invention for genetic engineering.It is now more effective, cheaper and easier than ever before to tinker with genes. What will happen if gene editing goes mainstream?


Peter Joosten Msc. will share his ideas about the possible negative outcomes of this developments. He will focus on our own health, society and our ecosystem. 

He is a DIY Futurist and blogs on about new technology and its impact on mankind. 

Virtual Reality has been a popular topic in dystopian science fiction. Will we completely live in cyberspace and let our real world deteriorate into a toxic wasteland? Or are we already living in a simulation? Augmented Reality allows to integrate the virtual world with the real. What will this lead to? Tech companies that track our every movement, precisely control what we see and fill our world with advertising? And will we still be able to distinguish reality from fantasy, or will we all live in a digital, schizophrenic blur?

Robin (Virtual Reality Learning Lab) will share some scary virtual futures and let you experience some for yourself. In his daily life Robin is lot more optimistic and helps schools and companies to use Virtual Reality for their teaching and training. 

With the increasing robotization of cars, airplanes, and even weapons, human error can be minimized, potentially saving many lives. But what about robot error? While responses to human error can be rather straightforward (punish the fighter pilot who accidentally killed civilians), responses to robot error definitely are not. Difficulties with debugging complex robots and ethical and legal issues surrounding robot responsibility will require us to reconsider what we know about liability (does it matter if my dog bites a child or if my robot bites a child?), and robot intelligence (does it matter if my humanoid robot hurts a child or if my toaster hurts a child?).


Roy de Kleijn (Leiden University) will talk about all this and more using real-world examples. In his daily life he is an assistant professor working in the field of cognition and cognitive robotics.



Location & Time

HUBspot Leiden

Langegracht 70

2312NV Leiden

17:00 Walk-in

17:30 Start speakers

19:00 Food and Drinks

21:00 End

Event Partners

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