Events

We organise some of the most controversial science events to hit Cambridge; taking our aim of developing a global forum for science in society one step closer to reality. Each term we run a series of exciting and stimulating talks where students, academics and members of the public alike can debate hot issues with an interdisciplinary panel of experts. It is important to us that everyone has the opportunity to engage with science and the people who practise it.


If our fate is written in our genes- Do we really want to know?

If our fate is written in our genes- Do we really want to know?

Wednesday 10th November, 7.30pm.
Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Dept of Chemistry, Lensfield Road
(Main entrance of Chemistry)
...
Free Entry. No Membership Required, Just Enthusaism.
Free Refreshments will be provided.

"We used to think that our fate was in our stars. Now we know that, in large
measure, our fate is in our genes." - Francis Crick

If you would like a quick scan of your genome for over 100 diseases, it will
cost less than $500. Getting the full sequence will cost more, but the price
is dropping rapidly.
But what can the result actually tell you? More importantly, do you really
want to know?

“Get to know your DNA. All it takes is a little bit of spit.” is the claim made by 23andMe, one of several companies providing genetic tests that give an overview of the entire genome.

But how useful is the information that is provided? And what does the availability of direct – to – consumer genome tests mean for our current healthcare system?

What are the ethical implications of knowing your genetic predisposition to cancers, or mental health issues?

Furthermore, given that sequencing technology is advancing at a rapid pace, what can we expect for the near future?


Join our panel of experts from medicine, genetics and sociology to discuss
what personal genome testing is capable of, what it could mean for
healthcare, what to expect in the near future and what we should do about
it.

*Panel Line-up*
Dr Peter Campbell (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)
Dr Barbara Prainsack (King's College London)
Dr Martin Richards (University of Cambridge)
Dr Caroline Wright (PHG Foundation)

Chair: Dr David Summers (University of Cambridge)

Battle of the Sciences

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126031717452045

 

A panel debate exploring the origins and relevancy of the divisions between the scientific disciplines and debating how science will evolve in the future as a subject.

Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Panel to include:

Prof. Chris Ponting

MRC, Oxford 

Professor of Genomics 

(BA and MSc in Physics) 

Dr Peter Wothers 

Teaching Fellow 

Dept Chemistry, Cambridge 

Prof Hasok Chang 

Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge 

Prof. John Ockendon 

Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

 

 

Too many people, not enough planet?

Thursday 14th October 2010

A panel event exploring the issue of overpopulation.

McCrum Lecture Theatre 7.30pm (next to The Eagle Pub)

Panellists to include:

Fred Pearce
Environment Editor, The Guardian
New Scientist Senior Environment Correspondent

Prof. John Guillebaud
Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Health, UCL
Patron of the Optimum Population Trust

Prof. Ludi Simpson
Professor of Population Studies, Manchester University

Saved by SMS?

TTH Cambridge Panel Event

 

25 Feb (Thu), 7.30pm

 

Pharmacology Lecture Theatre, Tennis Court Road http://www.phar.cam.ac.uk/department/dept_location.html

 

FREE ENTRY

Healthcare worldwide is a system in crisis. In the developed world impersonal patient-doctor relationships are breaking down as people turn to the internet for self diagnosis. In the developing world there is often no access to doctors at all.

Bringing healthcare and patients into the digital information age may be the future. From tracking malaria drugs in the developing world by SMS, sharing information about disease outbreaks via social networking sites, to empowering patients and doctors to share diagnosis and treatment ideas, significant changes to the digital and social infrastructure of the global healthcare system could revolutionise the way we look after own health, and other peoples'.

Join our panellists for a lively and informative debate about the key challenges, innovations and consequences of digitising healthcare. Refreshments will be available after the Q&A session.

Panel Chair: Dr Richard Barnett, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Panel:

Dr Matthew Jones, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Information systems in healthcare

Dr Dianne Sullivan, Scientific Adviser - Mobile Healthcare, Vodafone Group Research & Development
Impact of digitization of healthcare on development, SMS FOR LIFE project

Mr John Hall Director, Deloitte Group
Care pathway analytics linked to QIPP (quality, innovation, productivity & prevention)

This event is sponsored by Deloitte LLP.

Science: Is It Really 'Ours'?

TTH Cambridge Panel Event

 

1 Feb (Mon), 7.30pm

 

 Pharmacology Lecture Theatre, Tennis Court Road

 

Location map on http://www.phar.cam.ac.uk/department/dept_location.html

 

FREE ENTRY

This panel event shifts the spotlight away from specific science controversies, and calls on us to examine the scientific discipline as a whole. How has the relationship between science and the public evolved to date? To what extent is the scientific profession obliged to engage with the public? How can it do so more effectively? What can the layman even contribute to science policy? More fundamentally, who owns science – the experts, the consumers, the media, the powers that be, the traditional lab rat, the hapless lay volunteer of a clinical study? Who knows?

Refreshments will be available after the talk and Q&A session.

 

Panel:

Dr. James Wilsdon - Director of Science Policy Centre, The Royal Society

 

Professor Jim Secord - Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

 

Ms Anna Lewcock - News Editor of Chemistry World

 

This session will be chaired by Lord Martin Rees (Master of Trinity College & President of The Royal Society). 

 

GM Policy in Developing Regions: Yielding Much?

TTH Cambridge Panel Event

 

28 Jan (Thu), 7.30pm

 

McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street, behind The Eagle pub

 

Location map on http://www.cam.ac.uk/map/v4/drawmap.cgi?mp=main;xx=1798;yy=921;mt=a;ma=315;tl=Bene%27t%20Street

 

FREE ENTRY

 

Is the jury still out on genetically-modified (GM) crops, even after all these years of scientific advancement and ethical debate? Does the recent economic crisis and increasing environmental damage justify a worldwide uptake of GM crops?

Some claim that corporate GM agriculture is ‘more spin than substance’, while others claim that even humanitarian GM projects are ultimately an attempt to generate profit from the global poor. But with scientific agreement on the fact that we face imminent worldwide food and water shortages, something must be done if we are to avert rising food prices, environmental degradation and social instability.

Why should the public support GM crops? Under what circumstances might they be acceptable? Does the public have another option? Find out more at this event.

Refreshments will be available after the talk and Q&A session.

 

Panel:

 

Professor Sir David Baulcombe, FRS - Professor of Botany, University of Cambridge and chair of The Royal Society's report on biological science and food crop production (Oct 2009)

 

Dr Adrian Dubock - Golden Rice Humanitarian Project & Agricultural Consultancy for Development GmbH, Switzerland

 

Mr Tony Juniper - environmental campaigner, author and sustainability advisor, Green Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cambridge, former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth

 

Lord Dick Taverne - Liberal Democrat Peer & author of "The March of Unreason - Science, Democracy and the New Fundamentalism"

 

This session will be chaired by Professor Gerard Evan (Head of Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge).

 

"Are We Alone in the Universe?"

23rd Nov (Mon), 7.30pm
McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street, behind The Eagle pub
FREE ENTRY


A panel debate that asks: Do aliens really exist? What might they look like? And how might science and society react if we found them?

Human beings have long speculated on the existence of life elsewhere in the universe, but only now are we tackling the question with science. Astronomers are using increasingly sophisticated techniques to find and analyse exoplanets. Meanwhile, biologists are searching for life in our solar system. Science fiction has imagined a wide variety of alien life. We'll be asking if the aliens of literature, art and film have a basis in science and, if not, we'll find out what biologists really think aliens
look like.

Join us for a lively and informative evening of scientific speculation in search of the answers to all of these questions and more. Refreshments will be available after the talk and Q&A session.


Panel:
- Dr Jack Cohen (co-author of The Science of Discworld and Evolving the Alien)
- Dr Lewis Dartnell (Centre for Planetary Sciences, UCL)
- Dr Carolin Crawford (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)
- Mr Mark Brake (University of Glamorgan)

Chairwoman:
- Prof Monica Grady (The Open University and 2003 lecturer for The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures)

ENHANCEMENT IN SPORT - Faster, Higher, Stronger, Yet?

Monday 9th November, 7:30pm

McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street (behind The Eagle pub)

FREE ENTRY - Kindly sponsored by Deloitte

 

"Hormones, vitamins, stimulants and depressives are oils upon the creaky machinery of life. Principal item, however, is the machinery." Martin H. Fischer

Sport is about pushing the human body as far as is physically possible. But what about scientific advancements that can surpass these limitations? The expanding spheres of molecular biology and materials science give more possibilities to extend human strength and endurance. To confuse issues further, there are a whole host of legal supplements that can enhance performance, and technology is improving sports equipment not just humans.

In this exciting debate examining human enhancement, join our panel of experts to discuss the impact science is having and will have on sport:

- Dr Andy Miah (University of the West of Scotland)

- Dr Thomas Petersen (University of Roskilde, Denmark)

- Dr Alun Williams (Manchester Metropolitan University)

- Ms Clare Cunningham (Former Paralympic Swimmer - Deloitte & Touche LLP)

The panel will be chaired by Ms Michele Verroken of Sporting Integrity. Following a short presentation from each speaker, the floor will be open to you so we invite you to express your questions and views and come ready to challenge the panel!

 

Refreshments will be served at the end. We look forward to welcoming you!

 

Kindly sponsored by Deloitte (London 2012 Supporter) - for more information see www.deloitte.co.uk/graduates

 

"Would You Prefer a Mobile Phone or a Toilet?"

26 Oct (Mon), 7.30pm
McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street, behind The Eagle pub
Free entry

Technology has been touted as the panacea for the challenges facing developing countries. However, with limited resources, there is a need to prioritise and economise. Should we focus technological R&D on affordable basic infrastructure, or would it be more expedient to haul communities out of poverty “on the end of an ethernet cable”?

This interdisciplinary event will examine case studies of technological advancement in the Third World, evaluate the socioeconomic impact of these and discuss future possibilities.

Refreshments will be available after the talk and Q&A session.

Panel:
Dr David Grimshaw (Head of International Programme – New Technologies, Practical Action)
Professor Geoff Walsham (University of Cambridge, Judge Business School)
Dr Allam Ahmed (University of Sussex, Science & Technology Policy Research)
Dr Shoba Arun (Manchester Metropolitan University, Institute of Gender, Culture & The City)

Panel Chairman:
Mr Ian Steed (Manager, The Humanitarian Centre)

The World Under Assault: Can Science Beat Terrorism?

Monday 9th March, 8-9.30pm

Mccrum Lecture Theatre (behind The Eagle pub, Bene't Street)

FREE ENTRY as part of the Cambridge Science Festival

Join the Facebook event...

Terrorism is hard to combat: clandestine, well-equipped and exploitative of current scientific and technological knowledge for its ends. Trying to hunt terrorists down is tantamount to aiming at an unknown, hidden target while proclaiming the attack to everyone within range. How effective can stepping up surveillance and defence technologies be when terrorists are constantly deriving new weapons for mass destruction based on scientific research and technological breakthroughs readily available to the layman? Join the discussion with our panel:

- Dr Brooke Rogers, King's College London

- Professor John Adams, University College London

- Professor Tom Sorell, University of Birmingham

- Professor Ross Anderson, University of Cambridge

Refreshments will be served at the end and we look forward to welcoming you!

 

Enhancement in Sport: CANCELLED

Unfortunately, due to the heavy snow today, half of the panel are unable to travel to Cambridge, but we will attempt to reconvene this fantastic group of experts in the near future.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused, and we will keep you posted on the new date.

 

TTH Cambridge Panel Event
Sponsored by Deloitte
Date: Monday 2nd February, 7:30pm
Place: McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street (behind The Eagle pub)

 

Sport is about pushing the human body as far as is physically possible. But what about scientific advancements that can surpass these limitations? The expanding spheres of molecular biology and materials science give more possibilities to extend strength and endurance. What are the ethical implications, and what effect will developments have on athletes? Chaired by Michele Verroken of Sporting Integrity, our panel will include:

- Dr Andy Miah (University of the West of Scotland)

- Professor Julian Savulescu (Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford)

- Dr Alun Williams (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Following a short presentation from each speaker, the floor will be open to you so we invite you to express your questions and views and come ready to challenge the panel!

Refreshments will be served at the end. We look forward to welcoming you!

 

Can We Blame Our Brains? Neuroscience in the Courtroom

TTH Cambridge Panel Event
Date: Tuesday 21 October, 7:30pm
Place: McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street (behind the Eagle pub, access via the cobbled yard)

"It wasn't me, it was my brain m'lud"

Neuroscience has been appearing in US courtrooms since the early 1990's, offering criminal defence evidence from neuroimaging and many other techniques used to study cognitive brain function. So to what extent can it be used to answer questions about intent, responsiblity and even potential criminality? Will neuro evidence stand up in court? Our expert panel, chaired by Dr Kathy Liddell (Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge), will discuss recent advances in neuroscience and the law. This will include the scientific, ethical and judicial issues arising from them, leading to a debate about whether science can offer excuses for criminal activity. The panel includes:

- Professor Raymond Tallis

- Professor Nikolas Rose (Head of BIOS Centre, LSE)

- Dr Ian Treasaden (Head of Forensic Neuroscience, Imperial College)

Following a short presentation from each speaker, the floor will be open to you so we invite you to express your questions and views and come ready to challenge the panel!

Refreshments will be served at the end. We look forward to welcoming you!

Who wants to Live Forever? Exploring the impact of extreme ageing and the future of life extension research

TTH Cambridge Panel Event
Sponsored by the Babraham Institute
Date: Monday 13 October, 7:30pm
Place: Pharmacology Lecture Theatre, Tennis Court Road

"I aim to live forever. So far, so good" - Anon While immortality may currently be beyond the scope of human endeavour, it is certainly true that life spans are increasing; the number of centenarians in the UK has risen exponentially in the last century and in 2007 the Office for National Statistics reported that there were more pensioners than under 16s for the first time ever. The ageing population is high on the agenda of all governments in the developed world and research into ageing is increasingly important. As the saying goes, old age comes to us all; but how soon will that be for our generation?

In the first debate of this year, join our panel of experts chaired by Dr Richard Faragher (University of Brighton) to explore the impact on individuals and society of increasing longevity and the future of life extending medicines and technologies:

- Mr Kenneth Howse, Oxford Institute of Ageing

- Dr Aubrey de Grey, Methuselah Foundation

- Dr Guy Brown, Biochemistry Department, University of Cambridge

- Dr Klaus Okkenhaug, Babraham Institute, Cambridge

Following a short presentation from each speaker, the floor will be open to you so we invite you to express your questions and views and come ready to challenge the panel!

Refreshments will be served at the end. We look forward to welcoming you!

Our Virtual Selves: What can we learn from our behaviour online?

TTH Cambridge Panel Event
Sponsored by Rivers Run Red, http://riversrunred.com/
Date: Tuesday 6 November, 7:30pm
Place: Pharmacology Lecture Theatre, Tennis Court Road

The distinction between the consequences of our actions online and in the 'real world' is increasingly becoming blurred. Two teenagers have been sentenced for the theft of virtual property and a Japanese woman is curently awaiting sentencing for murdering her internet husband's avatar. This is to say nothing of the thousands of dollars worth of commerce happening in online games and the innumerable social connections that are made every day across the globe.

In our third event of the term, The Triple Helix asks: what is research into virtual worlds revealing about the way we (and our avatars) behave online? Crime, consumerism and consciousness will all be examined by our expert panel, chaired by Dr Tim Regan (Microsoft Research, Cambridge) and including:

- Dr Will Reader (Sheffield Hallam University)

- Dr Ralph Shroeder (Oxford Internet Insititute)

- Dr Mike Molesworth (Bournemouth University)

Following a short presentation from each speaker, the floor will be open to you so we invite you to express your questions and views and come ready to challenge the panel!

Refreshments will be served at the end. We look forward to welcoming you!

(Picture - Torley Linden under Creative Commons license)

Peer Review: Too Broken to be Fixed?

TTH Cambridge Panel Event
Date: Monday 28 April, 7:30pm
Place: McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street (behind the Eagle pub, access via the cobbled yard)

In an era when science is under increasing scrutiny, it is vitally important that scientists maintain the highest levels of moral standards and ethical behaviour. But just how fair is the publishing process which disseminates scientific discoveries? And who should be able to access this information?

Join us for our final interactive panel event this year to debate the ethics of peer review and open versus closed access publishing. We have an excellent line-up of speakers including:

- Dr. Stephen Simpson (Senior Editor at Science Magazine)

- Dr Robert Shields (Senior Editor at PLoS)

- Prof. Michael Wakelam (Director of the Babraham Institute, Cambridge)

- Dr. Peter Lawrence (Principle Investigator at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge)

Chaired by Dr Summers (Department of Genetics)

Come with your questions and We look forward to welcoming you!