FS Fives: Wednesday, June 15

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, Historic Scotland and Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio are featured in the current issue issue of Scientific American, in a piece on how 3-D modelling can preserve endangered culutral sites. “We lose a little of that heritage every day. War, climate change and pollution take a toll, as do wind and rain. Already gone are the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan (dynamited by the Taliban in 2001) and Palmyra (partially destroyed by ISIS in 2015). The $4 million a year that UNESCO allocates for preservation is not nearly enough to take care of even the four dozen sites considered at imminent risk of being lost forever. But there is an alternative.

Would you like your doctor to check your tweets for signs that you are depressed? Tools for analysing social data are already successfully being used in other fields like consumer behavior, education and anticipating crime. Incorporating social media as a medical vital sign is an investment in the future well-being of our society, says Sean Young, a professor at the University of California and executive director of its Institute for Prediction technology. “Big Brotherish as it might sound, studies nevertheless show that patients will willingly share this publicly available information with the world if it can be used to improve their health”.

The refurbished National Museum of Scotland is set to open in July, and will see much more space dedicated to science, technology and design exhibits. Ten galleries have been recreated at the museum in Edinburgh in a £14.1m project to give 40% more space to collections including science and technology, decorative arts, fashion and design. The redevelopment project also marks the museum’s 150th anniversary. Interactive exhibits are at the core of the six new science and technology galleries, which will feature more than 250 visitor activities. These include a giant hamster wheel, which visitors can climb inside and run in to generate kinetic energy to power lights in the space, and a game where visitors can create their own digital genetic tests.

A digital district is planned for Stirling, under a development framework agreed by the local council. Business cases have been put forward for six projects, including the digital district, habour development a new city park and an initiative to bring the River Forth “back into the heart of Stirling life as a key tourism and leisure resource”. Forth Valley College is also developing a skills framework with businesses in the financial, digital and construction sectors.

And finally…company director Tom Booker has just launched a ‘digital strategy’ that he doesn’t understand.