“Pernicious traits are to do with human nature. The biggest is a complete absence of self-knowledge.”
Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at University College London and author of "Stuff Matters", which won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
Miodownik analyses the materials that underpin civilisation, and works at the Institute of Making, which encourages cross-disciplinary invention and research on the topic of what “stuff” is made from.
Materials are critical for both the physical and intellectual development of civilisation, says Miodownik. For example, without humans mastering glass, optics would not have been possible, neither would the microscope, which in turn would rule out much biological science. “Materials are an important part of who we are, and without them we would soon revert to animals.”