In June, I'll be speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival in 4 events. Also, I have written an editorial for the programme, which discusses Factor X and the future of humanity. Here's a link and here's more info about the events wher I'll be speaking: Ethics of Synthetic Biology (8th June, 1830) Biology is being thought of in a whole new way – as a bunch of parts that can be engineered to create ‘synthetic’ biological things. But what does that mean? And should we be playing God with nature or can we think of biological bits as any other building material? Adam Rutherford, ethicist Andy Miah and social scientist Jane Calvert introduce us to synthetic biology and what it can do for us, and discuss some of the controversial questions it raises.
X MEN Vs BIONIC WOMEN (9th June, 1430) When we talk about doctors making us better we usually mean they give us back our health. But what if engineers and scientists could really make us better, better than we’ve ever been before? Faster, smarter, stronger than nature could manage, for example. Hear from biomedical engineer John Fisher and neuroscientist Barbara Sahakian about how much that could soon be possible, and from ethicist Andy Miah about the new dilemmas such technologies could bring.
Science Question Time (9th June, 5-6pm) Science cafe style event, considering questions of the week.
WHAT MAKES A CHAMPION? Thursday 9th June 8.30-9.30pm Our genetic heritage determines whether we have the right body to become a sporting champion, but raw talent alone is unlikely to win an Olympic gold medal. What are the mental challenges facing elite athletes? How has technology allowed us to swim, cycle and run faster? Former table tennis champion and journalist Matthew Syed, sports engineer Steve Haake and Scott Drawer from Sports UK uncover what makes successful sports stars rise above their competitors.