Watch: Professor Ruth Morgan’s talk at Designing the Future 2023


The bee & the meadow: lessons for disruptive thinking.

World Economic Forum Young Scientist and Professor of Crime and Forensic Science, Ruth Morgan is a passionate advocate for problem-based research with real-world impact.

What if the majority of the research and insight that we need already exists, and it’s right on our doorstep in a proverbial meadow?

Conducting research into interdisciplinarity, creativity and engagement between academia, industry, business, government and policy, she seeks answers to questions in ways that hold both science and society together.

The universal language of humanity is storytelling, so being out in the meadow is about committing to becoming master craftsmen of our stories.

Here, Ruth contemplates the power of conversation, the need for idealism and neurodiversity, and why ‘the meadow’ is key to tackling the non-linear, evolving, overwhelming global challenges in which our progress could be seismic.

Let’s go out to the people who wouldn’t be our usual go-tos, so we can discover new things, be challenged and surprised. It’s the most fantastic catalyst for disruptive thinking that will get us the breakthroughs we need.

Ruth talks discovery and exploration, her work on launching the Arista Institute; and why we must be brave, humble and open to the possible.

We had scientists round the table but we also had a clinician, a publisher, a strategist from the ad industry, a futurist and a close-up magician. It was definitely not the usual suspects but, my goodness, did we get to some interesting places.


Recorded at our 2023 national Designing the Future event at the Royal Institution, London.