The Ethics of Progress

The thing about the future is, by the time it happens, it’s already too late…..

The Ethics of Progress was first produced in 2007 as a mind-melting, jargon-free, whistle stop tour of leading edge Quantum Physics in which Artistic Director Jon Spooner told the story of how his understanding of the world and everything in was radically altered by conversations with Professor Vlatko Vedral, Professor of Quantum Information at Oxford University.

In 2020, Jon has been invited to rejoin Vlatko and his colleague Chiara Marletto at Oxford University’s Wolfson College as a Visiting Scholar. His task – to help tell the story of their work with the Quantum Hub as they try to unify the Classical and Quantum worlds in a “Theory of Everything”.

We are currently deep in a research phase with the ambition to make a new and spectacularly updated show for live performance in theatres and a simultaneous, uniquely designed online broadcast experience. Working with some of the UK’s leading stage, sound, lighting and video designers each experience (live and online) will stunningly explore the imagined, actual, ethical, political, religious and philosophical impacts of the latest developments in Quantum Physics including ‘post show’ Q&A’s with some of the world’s leading quantum physicists. There will also be jokes.

We livestreamed a work in progress performance December 2020 (video below). Further development is currently on pause due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but we’re ready to jump straight back in as soon as we’re able to do so safely – be the first to know where and when by following us on the socials or sign up to our email list (sign up box at bottom of this page)

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2007 version written by Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe in consultation with Professor Vlatko Vedral
A co-production with Oxford Playhouse and Leeds Met Studio Theatre

Jon invites his audience to consider how current developments in science-that-ain’t-fiction will irretrievably change the world as we currently view it. By avoiding jargon and explaining in straightforward terms the concepts of Superposition, Wave Particle Duality, Quantum Entanglement and Teleportation, ETHICS… pushed theoretical physics into real life situations and imagined the world as it might be in the not-too-distant future.

The Ethics of Progress v1.0 toured extensively in the UK and overseas from 2007-2012.