The Shortcut, Labs
Thursday, 18 December 2014
The Long + Short runs in themed 'seasons', publishing a series of stories on a particular topic over a number of weeks. Our second season, which has just ended, was themed around 'labs' – and the multiple interpretations of what a lab can be. Here's the shortcut to some of the stories we ran.
We published eight Long stories:
- In 'Hooked on labs' Charles Leadbeater traced the experimental lab approach from the brilliant mind of Robert Hooke in 16th century London to its proliferation far and wide - in science and beyond - today.
- Next year will see the opening of the Francis Crick Institute, a giant life sciences laboratory in central London. Is this ambitious and expensive centre of science in the right place, at the right time?
- Lab work remains male dominated. Susan Watts met women scientists and engineers to ask why?
- We looked at new lab architecture and how they’ve become places for grand design statements.
- Mexico’s Laboratory for the City is a pioneering lab set up to tackle urban problems. We met its creator to find out if it’s a vision of the future for cities of the developing world, or whether it will simply get bogged down in Mexico City’s endless sprawl.
- Clare Dwyer Hogg looked at the ethics of how major internet companies make their users part of experiments, whether they know it or not.
- Psychonauts treat their body like a lab, testing out new forms of legal highs. We joined the race to keep pace with them.
- Social and public innovation labs are emerging everywhere: is this a new age of experimentation or have we simply reached 'peak lab'?
On the shorter end of the scale, we looked at some beautiful blackboards; spoke to a lab technician; examined the original Skunk Works; admired functional elegance of the lab coat; remembered the chemistry set; got intimate; watched some films; heard about joke making; discussed DIY heart surgery; were impressed by Chinese entrepreneurs, and realised that every brand, everywhere wants to have a lab.
We hope you have a look at what’s on offer and let us know your thoughts: @longshortmag, facebook.com/thelongandshort.
You can also take a look back at our first issue, the ‘Re’ Season. We’ll be back in the new year with our third season, telling more stories of innovation.