MediaCityUK public lectures to explore ‘impossible’ futures

Wednesday 17 October 2012
Ali Hossaini
Ali Hossaini
Futurists will be giving the public a glimpse of how the arts and sciences can combine to shape the world at a thought-provoking public lecture series at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK digital space starting next week.

The As Yet Impossible lectures will bring together innovative future thinkers from a range of backgrounds and disciplines to inspire, inform and challenge audiences to think about technologies and ways of working which, while not currently possible, have huge potential to improve the lives and experiences of millions of people.


Launching the free series on Tuesday 23 October will be American artist and philosopher Ali Hossaini, who will describe how he is combining first-person accounts of autism with neurological research and his own observations to create an immersive, multisensory installation which seeks to give the audience some sense of how it could feel to experience aspects of autism for themselves.


In the first part of his talk, entitled Neurodiversity: Experiencing the Worlds of Autism, Hossaini will argue that ‘being in another person's skin’ is scientifically possible and ethically desirable. He will suggest that, while traditionally considered a behavioural and cognitive condition, autism is increasingly recognised to have a perceptual basis, before presenting the creative process behind his installation.


Upcoming speakers include science cities pioneer Mike Joroff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; virtual reality expert and Professor of Collaborative Computing at the University of Nottingham Steve Benford; and neuroscientist Dr Daniel Glaser, Head of Special Projects in public engagement at the Wellcome Trust.


Said Mary Oliver, lecture series organiser and Director of the Performance Research Centre at the University’s School of Media, Music and Performance: “For the first time in centuries we’re in a renaissance where the arts and the sciences are working together as a result of the digital revolution. Through the As Yet Impossibleseries of lectures our visionary speakers will be showing how these collaborations can bring about new ways of thinking and doing and offer the opportunity to change the world as we know it.”


Neurodiversity: Experiencing the Worlds of Autism by Ali Hossaini takes place at the University of Salford, MediaCityUK, M50 2HE, on Tuesday 23 October from 6.00pm-8.00pm. To register for a free ticket visit or call 0161 295 2929.