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Communicating the new quantum revolution

Quantum communication, quantum computing and quantum cryptography are no longer simply the stuff of science fiction; these powerful and potentially disruptive new technologies are now closer to realization, with far-reaching implications for science and society. How can educators, museums, journalists and filmmakers rise to the challenge?  

Here, we showcase the work of pioneers who have designed new quantum exhibits, programmes and media. Our presenters reveal how they overcame obstacles to interpreting "spooky action at a distance" and other counter-intuitive quantum phenomena for family audiences, and share what they've learned in the process. 

More about this session: We encourage attendees to join in discussion after the session; we’ll plan a future international workshop to develop further quantum education strategies and encourage dialogue about the risks and benefits of living in a world powered by quantum technologies.

Convenor

Director, Strategic Projects Group, and co-Director, Center for Integrated Quantum Materials headquartered at Harvard University
Boston
United States

Session legacy

50 people joined us for this session, and most of them stayed an extra half hour to continue the discussion. 37 signed up to be informed about further efforts to build capacity internationally to engage public audiences in the new quantum revolution and its potential impact on science, technology, and society. (Our medium-term goal is to organize an international workshop on quantum education.) The convenor, Carol Lynn Alpert, led off with contextual remarks on what's at stake in this area, and also provided a brief intro to what makes quantum science and technology different. Jamie Lochhead provided rare clips from a PBS/NOVA film in-the-making about "entanglement," the key quantum mechanical feature whose mastery will open the door to quantum computing and hack-free communications. Olov Amelin demonstrated how the Nobel Museum worked with partners to produce a game table with virtual marbles that allows visitors to explore other singular properties of quantum particles. Jenny Hogan introduced the Singapore-based Center for Quantum Technology's global art and science competitions and their collaborations with the Singapore Art & Science Museum. Tobi Day-Hamilton took participants on a walk-through of the world's first traveling exhibition on quantum, produced by the University of Waterloo Institute for Quantum Computing. Discussion focused on what has worked, what hasn't worked, and how we might be able to learn from these experiences to improve future efforts to engage public audiences. We thank ECSITE for facilitating this gathering and all of those who came and shared ideas.

Session speakers

Director
Stockholm
Sweden
Olov Amelin is director of the Nobel Museum in Sweden and worked with Atelier Brückner in Germany and Yoke in Copenhagen to develop a virtual reality game table exploring quantum phenomena for an exhibition in a science center in Dubai. Olov will show how the game works and what the designers learned from its first implementation.
Director
Windfall Films
Jamie Lochhead is an innovative television director and Executive Producer at Windfall Films, based in London. He is currently writing and directing a film on Quantum Entanglement for NOVA, the award-winning U.S. Public Broadcasting Service's flagship science program. Jamie will share clips from the film and discuss the trials and tribulations of bringing quantum science to life in primetime and on the web.
Jenny Hogan
Associate Director, Outreach and Media Relations
Centre for Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
Jenny Hogan is the Associate Director for Outreach & Media Relations at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. Her group runs the annual international Quantum Shorts film and writing festival competition and staged a Quantum Showcase at the ArtScience Museum. The festival showcased CQT experiments and creative works of film and fiction inspired by quantum physics. Jenny's group is currently exploring opportunities to work with the Singapore Science Center.
Tobi Day-Hamilton
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Institute for Quantum Computing
Waterloo
Canada
Tobi Day-Hamilton is the Director, Strategic Initiatives at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, Canada. Her team developed "QUANTUM: The Exhibition" a 4,000 square foot exhibit currently touring Canada. Tobi will share how the exhibit has engaged nearly 400,000 people so far and speak about the challenges of developing an exhibit that many believed couldn’t be done.

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