[evol-psych] Genes & Society Festival (fwd)

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Wed, 19 Mar 2003 19:09:43 +0100 (CET)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2003 17:51:52 -0000
From: Ian Pitchford <ian.pitchford@scientist.com>
To: evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com,
     psychiatry-research@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [evol-psych] Genes & Society Festival

www.instituteofideas.com

 

The Institute of Ideas

Genes & Society Festival

 

in association with 

 

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27, April 2003

Battersea Arts Centre
Lavender Hill
London SW11 5TN

Tickets: 0207 269 9230/9229/9227/9220

See below for full booking information.

 

Supported by: 

 



 

Media Sponsor: 

 



 

Genetics is one of the most-high profile issues of times. New discoveries
generate media coverage almost every day, and spark excitement, awe, fear
and contention in equal measure. Genetic discoveries are seen as having
significant implications for health, medicine, reproduction, religion,
food, the environment, industry, insurance, employment, privacy,
self-identity and even terrorism. The impact of genetics goes way beyond
the laboratory with concerns and interest being reflected in popular
culture through film, TV, art, and heated media discussions.

 

April 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Crick and
Watson's famous paper on the structure of DNA in the scientific journal
Nature. The Institute of Ideas' weekend-long Genes and Society Festival,
in association with Pfizer, brings together a host of scientists, writers,
social commentators, regulators, philosophers, artists and campaigners to
reflect on and debate the many implications of genetic discoveries and
advances.

 

Does genetics throw up uniquely new and difficult ethical dilemmas? Can
scientists, industry and government be trusted to employ genetic
technologies to the benefit of all? Have we become too suspicious of those
involved in science? Are there any moral or natural limits to what humans
should attempt to manipulate and control? Are we overreacting to the
unfamiliar? These are only a few of the important and varied questions to
be discussed.

 

Tony Gilland, Science and Society director, Institute of Ideas


Opening Plenary
 

Genetics: Hype and Reality, Saturday 26 April  - 11.00-12.30 - BAC, Main House

Since the publication of Crick and Watson's famous DNA paper 50 years ago
scientists have learned to isolate individual genes, identify their
functions and transfer them from one organism to another. In June 2000 a
rough draft of the approximately 30,000 to 35,000 human genes that make up
the human genome was published to much fanfare. Our increasing ability to
understand and manipulate genes could lead to significant benefits. But
genetic engineering has provoked fear as well as excitement.

 

This opening session at the festival will reflect on what has actually
been achieved to date, the developments on the horizon, and the wider
social implications of this powerful technology.

 

What's hype, what's reality?

 

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick GP, columnist for the Lancet and author of The
Tyranny of Health

David Goldstein Wolfson Professor of Genetics, University College London,
specialises in the study of human genetic variation, including both the
medical significance and the historical implications, as in his work
featured in the BBC's Blood of the Vikings.

 

Respondents:

Geoff Watts presenter of BBC Radio 4's Leading Edge and member of the Human Genetics Commission

TBC
 

Chair: Tony Gilland Institute of Ideas

 

 

Genetics and Ethics
 

Should we worry about eugenics? 
Saturday, 26 April - 2.00-3.30 - BAC, Main House

Genetic screening techniques offer the prospect of improving the chances
of women giving birth to children free from debilitating genetic defects.
Some have labelled this development 'eugenics', raising the spectre of the
Nazis. Have we become so preoccupied with perfection that we want to
eliminate those who are merely different? Is it 'eugenics', or do critics
who are concerned about our attitudes towards disability abuse the term?
What is eugenics?

 

Keynote Address:

Frank Furedi Professor of Sociology, University of Kent at Canterbury and
author of Paranoid Parenting and Culture of Fear

 

Respondents:

Professor Tom Baldwin Department of Philosophy, University of York and
Vice Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Rachel Hurst OBE director, Disability Awareness in Action

Josephine Quintavalle, director, Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

 

Chair: Claire Fox director, Institute of Ideas

 
Genes, Privacy and a Genetic Underclass?
Saturday, 26 April - 4.00-5.30 - BAC, Main House

Medical researchers are keen to collect information about our DNA in their
quest to understand diseases. Employers and insurance companies are
increasingly interested in the future health problems of their employees
and customers. As genetics advances should we worry about our privacy?
Will information collected about our DNA be used to improve our lives or
to control them? Will some of us become a genetic underclass, or will
scientific advances benefit everyone?

 

John Gillott Policy Officer, Genetic Interest Group, and co-author of
Science and the Retreat from Reason

Lee M Silver Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Princeton
University and author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and
Cloning Will Transform the American Family

Mark Littlewood Director of Campaigns, Liberty

Robert Terry Senior Policy Advisor, Wellcome Trust, one of the major
funders of the UK Biobank Project

 

Chair: Ellie Lee Research Fellow, Department of Sociology and Social
Policy, University of Southampton and series editor, Institute of Ideas'
Debating Matters books
 

Stem Cells - prospects and barriers
Saturday, 26 April - 6.30-8.00 - BAC, Gallery 

Research on embryonic stem cells could lead to new treatments for patients
with degenerative diseases of the heart, liver, kidneys and cerebral
tissue. In the UK, after protracted and heated political debate, it is now
legal to clone human embryos for research and medical purposes. In the
United States embryonic stem cell research has been denied public funds
and legislative moves are afoot to outlaw the cloning of human embryos for
any purpose. What are the prospects for this research internationally and
what can the US learn from the UK public policy debate?

 

Simon Best BioEthics spokesperson for the US and UK biotechnology
industries, previously CEO of Roslin/Geron BioMed

Alistair Kent director, Genetic Interest Group

Dr Robin Lovell-Badge Head of Developmental Genetics, MRC National
Institute for Medical Research

Dr Stephen Minger, Centre for Neuroscience Research, GKT School of
Biomedical Sciences, King's College London

 

Chair: Toby Andrew Genetic Statistician, St Thomas' Hospital

 

Discovery Film Screening: DNA: The Promise and the Price

Saturday, 26 April - 4.00-5.30 - BAC, Studio 1

An examination of how Crick and Watson's extraordinary discovery of the
structure of DNA has revolutionised the world we live in. DNA: The Promise
and the Price examines how far we have come and poses some challenging
questions for our genetic future.

 
 

Genetics and Progress
 

Intellectual Property and Developing Countries - which way forward?
Saturday, 26 April - 2.00-3.30 - BAC, Lower Hall

Genetic science is big business, and companies move quickly to patent
genetic discoveries. Business needs to earn a return on its investments
and argues that without patent protection there would be no breakthroughs.
Critics counter that the common heritage of humanity is being privatised
and that developing countries cannot afford to meet the costs of patented
technologies. How can we best encourage the development of new products
from genetic science and ensure that they don't only benefit the rich?

 

Joe Kaplinsky patent and technology analyst

Professor Ingo Potrykus chair, Humanitarian Board for Golden Rice;
co-inventor of Golden Rice Dr Gill Samuels CBE, Senior Director Science
Policy & Scientific Affairs, Europe, Pfizer

Julian Oram Senior Researcher, New Economics Foundation

 

Chair: Tony Gilland Institute of Ideas

 

GM Crops and the Developing World - who decides? 
Saturday, 26 April - 4.00 -5.30 - BAC, Lower Hall

Has the developing world become a battle ground for the competing
interests of Western multinationals and campaign groups? China and India
have both embraced GM technology and 75 per cent of biotech farmers are
based in the developing world. Yet Zambia refuses to accept GM grain as
food aid, concerned about whether the technology will have unforeseen
consequences and fearing that it won't be allowed to export its produce to
European countries opposed to GM. What are the benefits of this technology
for developing countries and who decides?

 

Thomas Deichmann editor, Novo magazine and co-author of The Popular
Lexicon of Gene Technology

Professor Diran Makinde, University of Venda for Science and Technology,
South Africa and member of AfricaBio.

Colin Tudge author, The Variety of Life and So Shall We Reap (forthcoming)

TBC

 

Chair: Tracey Brown director, Sense About Science

 

GM Crops - time to say yes? 
Saturday, 26 April - 6.30-8.00 - BAC, Lower Hall

Farm-scale trials of GM crops in the UK will be complete by the end of
this year. The government is expected to make a decision on whether to
allow the commercial use of GM either this year or next. Are we now in a
position to start experimenting with this technology? Or are the benefits
and potential pitfalls still too uncertain? What should be learnt from
this debate for the implementation of other new technologies? Is the
caution that has been exercised to date a step forwards or back?

 

Allan Asher Director of Campaigns and Corporate Communications, Consumers' Association

Bill Durodié Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Defence Studies, Kings College London

Dr Peter Robbins lecturer in Sociology, Cranfield University and author of Greening the Corporation

Professor Michael Wilson Chief Executive, Horticulture Research International

 

Chair: Tony Gilland Institute of Ideas

 

Genetic Science in the Developing World
Sunday, 27 April - 3.00-4.00 - BAC, Cafe

Tracey Brown, director of Sense about Science, explores the latest genetic
research aimed at improving the lives of people in developing countries
with Diran Makinde, Professor of Animal Science, University of Venda for
Science and Technology, South Africa and Dr Julian Ma, Department of Oral
Medicine & Pathology, Guy's Hospital London.

 

 
Genetics and Reproduction 
 

Reproductive Cloning - what's wrong with it? 
Sunday, 27 April - 11.30-1.00 - BAC, Main House

Human reproductive cloning was outlawed in the UK in 2001. It is widely
accepted that the dangers to any child born as a clone, and the risk of
fetal abnormalities, mean reproductive cloning is currently too dangerous.
But what if these scientific and technical limitations could be overcome?
If cloning offers infertile people an opportunity to have children, is
there anything intrinsically wrong with that? Why has the prospect of
human cloning generated such revulsion?

 

Peter Garrett Research and Education Director at LIFE 

Dr Harry Griffin Acting Director, Roslin Institute

Lee M Silver Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, Princeton
University and author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and
Cloning Will Transform the American Family

 

Chair: Claire Fox director, Institute of Ideas

 

Parental Choice and Children's Welfare - is there a conflict?
Sunday, 27 April - 2.30-4.00 - BAC, Main House

Advances in infertility treatment have helped more people have children.
But recent advances, like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and sperm
sorting, have opened up other possibilities. For example, attempting to
select the sex of your child or using tissue-matching techniques to have a
child who can donate to a seriously ill sibling. Do we have too
instrumental an attitude to children? Or are we too suspicious of parents'
motives?

 

Dr Emily Jackson Senior Lecturer in Family Law, London School of Economics

 

Respondents:

Professor Priscilla Alderson Social Science Research Unit, Institute of
Education, University of London

Dr Piers Benn, lecturer in medical ethics and law, Imperial College

Professor Martin Richards Director of the Centre for Family Research,
University of Cambridge.

 

Chair: Ellie Lee Research Fellow, Department of Sociology and Social
Policy, University of Southampton and series editor, Institute of Ideas'
Debating Matters books

 

Genes and Identity: Genetic inheritance and psychological welfare
Sunday 27 April - 4.30-6.00 - BAC, Main House

Is knowledge of our genetic ancestry important to our sense of self and
identity? Should the law be changed to allow donor offspring to know more
about their biological fathers? Should sperm donors have rights over their
biological children? Or does all this undermine children's relationships
with the people who actually bring them up, and encourage dissatisfied
adults to chase genetic ghosts.

 

Frank Furedi Professor of Sociology, University of Kent at Canterbury and
author of Paranoid Parenting and Culture of Fear

Juliet Tizzard Director, Progress Educational Trust

David Gollancz lawyer 

Baroness Perry member of the Royal Society's Project Science Board of
Patrons and author of The Womb in Which I Lay

 

Chair: Tiffany Jenkins Institute of Ideas

 

In Conversation - lessons from Dolly 

Sunday, 27 April, 2.30-3.30 - BAC, Gallery

 

Dr Harry Griffin Acting Director of the Roslin Institute talks to Toby
Andrew about the legacy of Dolly the sheep.

 

 

Cultural Reflections
 

Exhibits from Helen Storey's Primitive Streak - a fashion collection
chronicling the first 1000 hours of human embryonic development - will be
on display throughout the festival.

 

Genetic Headlines - how capable are the media at reporting genetic news?
Saturday 26 April - 11.15-12.45 - BAC, Lower Hall

Science correspondents generally report accurately, but newspapers also
contribute to panics and prejudice. The public discussion of GM food and
cloning is skewed by sensational headlines. But what about science itself?
Scientists are sometimes poor communicators, commercial labs often hype
their discoveries, and scientific institutions are not above spin. How can
the media get it right?

Frank Burnett director, Cheltenham Science Festival
Mark Henderson Science Correspondent, The Times 

Vivienne Parry writer and broadcaster and former Tomorrow's World presenter

Johnjoe McFadden Professor of Molecular Genetics, University of Surrey and
author of Quantum Evolution

 

Chair: Claire Fox director, Institute of Ideas

 

Genetic Broadcasting - Science on TV 
Saturday 26 April - 2.00-3.30 - BAC, Studio 1

What can television do that other mediums cannot, and what are its
limitations? Do science programmes successfully combine the facts with the
ethical questions they raise? Should they? What role should TV have in
helping us make our minds about these questions? Is there a tension
between intellectual seriousness and popular appeal? If so, how can this
be resolved?

 

Toby Murcott science broadcaster

Emma Read Commissioning Editor, Discovery Networks Europe

Geoff Watts presenter of Radio 4's Leading Edge and member of the Human
Genetics Commission

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas

 

Genetics and Art - scientific inspiration? Saturday, 27 April  - 4.00-5.30 - BAC, Gallery

Will genetics have the same creative effect on art as the development of
anatomy during the Renaissance? Many contemporary works of art, from Mark
Quinn's DNA portrait to Helen Storey's Primitive Streak, have been
inspired by new scientific insights in genetics. Do these works explore
the human condition in new ways?

 

Ken Arnold, Exhibitions Manager, the Wellcome Trust

Sian Ede Calouste Gulbenkian's Assistant Director of Arts and author of Strange and Charmed 

Adam Goff, picture editor, New Scientist and judge for Visions of Science photography competition

Rob Kesseler artist

 

Chair: Timandra Harkness freelance writer

 

Science in Performance

Saturday, 26 April - 6.30-8.00 BAC, Café

>From astronomy to anatomy, science can provide a dramatic spectacle. Can
theatre contribute to the public understanding of science? Does it do
justice to scientific ideas? Should it try?

 

Leslie Hill and Helen Paris performance artists, curious.com

Tom Morris artistic director, BAC 
Simon Parry Project Manager, Young People's Performing Arts, Wellcome Trust 
Helen Pilcher comedian, journalist and scientist

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas



Science Comedy: Let's twist again, 50 years of DNA 
Saturday, 26 April - 8.30-9.00 BAC, Cafe
Timandra Harkness and Helen Pilcher, the Comedy Research Project
 

Sci-Fi Futures - popular films and contemporary concerns
Sunday, 27 April - 11.30-1.00 - BAC Studio 1

In recent years, genetic science has proved fertile material for
film-makers. But the speculation seems entirely negative. Think of the
Nazi cloning in The Boys from Brazil, or the rampaging DNA-cloned
dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. In Gattaca and Minority Report, technology is
abused by authoritarian regimes. Why is the depiction of genetic science
on film so pessimistic?

 

Paul Kane film critic, science fiction author and lecturer

Sandy Starr spiked; TV critic, the Sun

Jason Thorp Programming and Acquisitions Director, Sci·Fi channel

Louis Savy Festival Director, SCI-FI-LONDON

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas

 

Sci-Fi Futures - literature and contemporary concerns 
Sunday 27 April - 2.30-4.00 - BAC, Studio 1 

In 1984, George Orwell observed that, 'In the early twentieth century, the
vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, and
efficient . was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate
person.' Following the experience of war, fascism and the bomb, writers
like Orwell set about rewriting that future. What does science fiction,
and science in fiction, tell us about ourselves and society today?

 

Jennie Bristow commissioning editor, spiked
Gwynneth Jones children's writer; author, Taylor Five

Norman Levitt Professor of Mathematics, Rutgers University, and author of
Prometheus Bedeviled: Science and the Contradictions of Contemporary
Culture Ken MacLeod science fiction writer, author of The Star Fraction,
The Stone Canal and The Cassini Division

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas

 

 

Genetics and Education
 

Teaching Genetics - facts or ethics? 
Sunday 27 April - 11.30-1.00  - BAC, Studio 2 

With the government piloting a new issues and media-based science
curriculum in schools, is the rigour of scientific discipline giving way
to a softer approach? Should pupils learn the mechanics of inheritance
before considering the morality of genetically modified organisms? Or are
the ethics of genetics worthy of study in their own terms?

 

Dinah Barry Head of Science at the City of London Girls' School 

Paul Beaumont Science and Plants for Schools, Homerton College, Cambridge 

Dr Derek Bell Chief Executive, Association for Science Education

 

Chair: Dave Perks Head of Physics at Graveney School in Tooting, London

 

Sixth form Genetics Debate 
Sunday 27 April - 2.30-4.00 - BAC Studio 2
GM: Frankenstein Food or a Technology to be Celebrated?

Debate involving schools from the Institute of Ideas Debating Matters
competition: Graveney School versus Harvey Grammar School

 

Tom Gartrell Graveney School Sixth Form

Lucie Potter Graveney School Sixth Form

Richard Lamb Harvey Grammar School Sixth Form

David Wood Harvey Grammar School Sixth Form

 

Special Guest Respondents: 

Dr Derek Bell Chief Executive, Association for Science Education 

Dr Gill Samuels CBE, Senior Director Science Policy & Scientific Affairs, Europe, Pfizer

Dr Dennis Hayes Centre for Educational Research at Canterbury Christ Church University College 

 

Chair: Claire Fox director, Institute of Ideas

 

Genes and Intelligence - what is intelligence? 
Sunday 27 April  - 4.30-6.00 - BAC, Gallery

What contribution has natural science made to our understanding of
intelligence, and how is this informing our view of human nature? How
enlightening are recent achievements in behavioural genetics and
developmental cognitive science? Might scientists provide a lead in
reinvigorating our conception of ourselves as active subjects, or is
science necessarily deterministic?

 

Annette Karmiloff-Smith Professor of Neurocognitive Development and Head
Neurocognitive Development Unit, Institute of Child Health

Dave Perks Head of Physics at Graveney School in Tooting, London

John White Professor of Philosophy of Education, Institute of Education,
University of London, author of The Child's Mind

 

Chair: Toby Marshall A-Level teacher and writer

 

In Conversation - science education

Sunday 27 April - 4.45-6.00 - BSC, Cafe

Professor Sir Harry Kroto Nobel Laureate, Professor of Chemistry at the
University of Sussex and founder of the Vega Science Trust, talks to Tony
Gilland about the importance of science education.

 

 

Genetic controversies

 

Film screening - Motherland: a genetic journey 

Saturday 26 April - 11.00-1.00  - BAC, Studio 1

Shot in England, the USA, Jamaica and Africa, the film follows three
people using science to trace their genetic roots. Their ancestors were
enslaved in Africa. Now thanks to DNA, they can 'return'. Does this raise
fundamental questions about who we are?

 

Archie Baron Takeaway Media, producer of the programme

Alka Sehgal researcher in cultural studies

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas

 

Genes and Longevity - how long should we want to live?

Saturday 26 April - 2.00-3.30 - BAC Gallery

Will genetic advances help us to live longer, in a healthy and active
state? What are the implications for society of us all living longer? Who
wants to live forever?

 

Dr Richard Ashcroft, Head of Unit and Leverhulme Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics, Imperial College 

John Hands novelist, author Darkness at Dawn and Brutal Fantasies

Phil Mullan author The Imaginary Timebomb: Why an Ageing Population is Not a Social Problem

David Wynford-Thomas Professor of Pathology and Director of Cancer
Research UK, University of Wales College of Medicine

 

Chair: Tiffany Jenkins Institute of Ideas

 

Genetics and Disability 

Saturday 26 April  - 4.30-5.30 - BAC, Studio 2

Does the aspiration to eliminate disability through genetic technology
necessarily denigrate the disabled as people?

 

Duleep Allirajah disability policy analyst

Josephine Quintavalle, director, Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE)

 

Chair: Brid Hehir nurse and writer

 

Anthraxiety: the threat of biological and chemical terrorism

Sunday 27 April - 11.30-1.00 - BAC, Gallery

How worried should we really be about the threat of biological or chemical
terrorist attacks? What are the implications of the terror alert for
scientists exchanging and discussing potentially sensitive information?

 

Bill Durodié Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Defence Studies, Kings College London

Steve Emmett neuropharmacologist, Synaptica

 

Chair: Brendan O'Neill assistant editor, spiked

 

Born bad? Genes and violence

Sunday 26 April - 4.30-5.30  - BAC, Studio 2

Are violent criminals genetically predisposed to behave the way they do?
If so, can they ever escape their genetic legacies? Are genetic
explanations simply a moral cop-out?

 

Natasha Cooper crime novelist and former chair of the Crime Writers' Association

Dr Robin Lovell-Badge Head of Developmental Genetics, MRC National Institute for Medical Research

 

Chair: Dolan Cummings Institute of Ideas

 

 



 

Venue:

 

BAC (Battersea Arts Centre)
Lavender Hill
London SW11 5TN

(BAC is the Old Town Hall building half way up Lavender Hill, a 10 minute
walk from Clapham Junction mainline station. For full directions visit
www.bac.org.uk or call 020 7223 2223)

 

Tickets 

Saturday: 

Standard Rate £25 (£20 concessions)  

IoI associates £20 (£15 concessions)

 

Sunday: 

Standard Rate £20 (£15 concessions)             

IoI associates £15 (£12.50 concessions)

 

Booking:

For disabled access telephone 020 7269 9224 in advance.

Telephone (10am-6pm, Monday-Friday):

0207 269 9230/9229/9227/9220

 

Tickets can also be purchased by writing to the Academy of Ideas, Signet
House, 49-51 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 3JP and enclosing a cheque for
the appropriate amount made payable to Academy of Ideas Ltd.

 

 

The Institute of Ideas would like to thank:

 

Grange Hotels

CropLife International

 

Tom Morris, Emma Stenning, Kate McGrath, Greg Piggot, Martin Roberts, Alistair Milne and all the staff at BAC 

 

Elaine Snell, EDAB

Joe Ewart, Society 

Richard Northover and David Baird, ZeroFive web design

 

Toby Andrew 

John Gillott 

James Gledhill

Timandra Harkness

Natasha Hulugalle

Siobhan Jones

Juliet Tizzard

Claudia Wood

 

Genes and Society Team:

 

Tony Gilland, Science and Society director, Institute of Ideas

Dave Wilson, Production Co-ordinator

Geoff Kidder, Administrator

Dolan Cummings, Institute of Ideas, convenor Cultural Reflections strand

Ellen Raphael and Ellie Lee, convenors of Genetics and Reproduction strand 

Joe Kaplinsky and Jan Bowman, convenors of Genetics and Progress strand 

Shirley Lawes and Toby Marshall, convenors of Genetics and Education strand