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Science & Medicine 42

Explorations in the world of science.


Failing Gracefully

August 1st, 2016

Episode 542 of 558 episodes

Dr Kevin Fong concludes his exploration of the boundaries between the medical profession and other industries for valuable lessons that might be of use to us all. In this final episode, Kevin talks to people who have spent their lives investigating what it takes to make high-performance, high-reliability systems work safely when lives are on the line. Since the days of Project Apollo, People have come to rely more and more heavily upon the digital computer. Whether it’s aerospace, the automotive industry, medicine or even the financial sector, technology has become so central to the success of these complex systems, that it’s become increasingly more difficult for the human to remain in control when these systems fail. Technology, some argue, isn’t just replacing us, it’s displacing us. Is this situation inevitable or is there a way to better protect ourselves from the risks that opaque, complex technological systems create?