Embrace the Greenfield revolution

Science Oxford Online has an interview with neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield where she argues that too much connection to digital technologies is as much as a threat to humanity as climate change.

How does ‘climate change relate to the concept of ‘mind change’?

Mind change and climate change are both critical scenarios concerning governments and negotiations between countries. There is sometimes an idea that science can save us through climate policy and eco products. An example of how quickly mind change can happen is the way that everyone now recognises the telephone. It may affect boys and girls differently according to the technologies they interact with and influence relations with developing countries. Time spent in virtual environments could lead to behaviour which is individualistic, reclusive, and child like with a high level of greed, impulsivity and disregard for consequences.

Apart from this quite startling claim, for which she cites no actual evidence, I’m just a little struck by how odd the whole interview is.

The interview was done over the phone and I’ve no idea how it’s been edited, but it seems a strange mixture of over-generalisations and, sometimes, answers that don’t even seem relevant to the actual questions.

Link to Susan Greenfield interview on ‘mind change’.


  1. Magpie
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Clearly, she has been spending too long using technology, much to the sad diminishment of her powers.

  2. Posted December 4, 2010 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    i think it changes it quite a bit im a country lad now living in the city theres no space in a city to have time out form noise and polution etc i miss the time out with all the trees and grass nature etc if that makes any sense or another way of putting it city life is fast paced where as in the country it a lot slower pace

  3. Clinton Petersen
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Technology has made man more giving if anything. We have file sharing, we have free open source software, technology has introduced a gift culture. The problem Miss Greenfeild might be addressing or trying to address is that technology is a danger for those institutions which want to excercise control over individuals, it is harder to herd the sheep in a digital world

  4. cavall de quer
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    “…….too much connection to digital technologies is as much as a threat to humanity as climate change.”

    -rather a partial view, isn’t it? Climate change is a threat to the entire world, whereas digital technologies can only f*** up human minds (if it does). Like; who cares?

  5. Posted December 4, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Baron Greenfield needs to read David Linden’s new book:


  6. Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    @cavall de quer

    Trouble is that humans dominate the biosphere now.

    Human minds are already warped and diseased enough, and look at the damage we’ve done already. The more f***ed up we get, as you put it, the more ruin and desolation will we wreak on each other and on the rest of the biosphere.

  7. A. C.
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Wait, so she gave this interview to Oxford Science ‘Online’?

  8. Posted December 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Standard Susan Greenfield. Here’s my review of one of her lectures and an explanation of why she is wrong using the only source she cited:


  9. Steve Merrick
    Posted December 6, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Susan Greenfield is establishing a consistent record of telling lies to the public, by telling them the truth in a way that they will misinterpret. She told us that smoking a cannabis joint causes physical changes in the brain, but failed to observe that having a thought causes physical changes in the brain. I no longer find her credible.

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