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London

Why we need a World Pro-Doping Agency

Why we need a World Pro-Doping Agency

Last night, I was at the British Library taking part in a panel on doping in sport. Doping seems to be in the news all of the time at the moment, with revelations about Russian involvement and is made worse by the allegations of corruption in sports federations. 

I have spoken in so many debates about doping and, inevitably, i tend to be the one who, now let me get this right, people love to hate. Yes, that's the way round I think. I argue for doping in sport. I argue that the present anti-doping system is out of sync with our emerging culture of human enhancement. I argue that we need to re-think everything.

I have been saying this for 15 years and nothing has changed. Officials still claim unbelievably low levels of doping in sport. Athletes claim it is much higher. Athletes keep getting abused, but still bear the brunt of the sanctions. 

I don't have a solution to the problem, but neither does anti-doping. In my system, the world of sport takes on more responsibility for steering athletes to safe forms of performance enhancement, invests into helping them make performance gains, ensures an appropriate relationship between athletes and their advisors - including physicians.

I am told that my system is too onerous on the sports world, that it is inconceivable to ensure a high quality of care in a developing country which lacks even the infrastructure to develop sport. I am told there are not enough resources and yet NBC paid $8b for the next 16 years of Olympic coverage. The lack of resource in anti-doping undermines its credibility and it cannot attend to its duty of care to athletes more widely without approaching this from a public health perspective. Yet, in the wake of the Beijing 2008 test results, the IOC wants federations to figure it out. I don't understand this at all, but suspect it will not go very far to solving the problem.

In my world, athletes are under medically supervised doping. they will still be at risk, but they will know more about those risks and be better equipped to diminish their impact on health. This alone is reason to make doping legal, but there is an even stronger claim to be made in relation to what we ask athletes to do, which is transcend human limits. They can't do this without technology. Doping is one means by which an athlete can do this, but there are others. 

Here's an article which I published 10 years ago, setting out the case for a different model and here's the final video

Salford Alumni event

Salford Alumni event

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This week, I was privileged to speak at the University of Salford's London meet up. It was a unique event for me and incredibly humbling to see and speak to so many remarkable people who have come through the university, including a Lord who was involved with writing the House of Lords report on drones - the subject of my talk! It was a great way to conclude an extraordinary first academic year at the university.

University of Salford 087e1
University of Salford 087e1

Project Daedalus Art Event

Project Daedalus Art Event

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In the first of our Project Daedalus events with arts organizations, we all went over to the Pleasance in London to offer some demos, talks, and sandpit style discussion, thinking about how to use drones in creative contexts. Attendees had a chance to fly some micro drones and a Parrot Bebop using the iPad control interface, while also hearing about 360 degree film making, design for virtual reality interfaces, including Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear, and generally think about how to interate a range of digital technologies around drones, to create immersive, compelling, and different audience experiences.

Project Daedalus is a Digital R&D for the Arts project, funded by Nesta, Arts Council England, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was born from a collaboraiton between myself, Abandon Normal Devices, and Marshmallow Laser Feast.

 

 

Social Media and the PhD @LSENews

Social Media and the PhD @LSENews

The second of three social media talks in a week, this one at the London School of Economics, focused on the early career researcher and how they can use social media to get their ideas out there quicker and make social media part of their research discovery process. When I was a PhD student, all we had to think about in terms of software was which bibliographic package we use.

Now, there are endless applications and key places where academics need to be, so that their work is discovered. Some of the key ones are ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Academia.edu, LinkedIn, and Twitter, but there are many more tools available that can help make our work more efficient, more accessible, and more engaging.

One of my key messages is that ignoring social media is like ignoring email in the 1990s. The question is not whether we do it, but how we do it well.

The Internet of Things, Big Data, and Future Media - Implications for Education

The Internet of Things, Big Data, and Future Media - Implications for Education

Today, I am giving a talk at the #BETT2015 Show in London and also participating in a panel on social media in education. It's a huge event and I've never been before, so it will be fun to discover what it's all about. It's still early days for the Internet of Things in education, so there's a lot to talk about and I'll post slides here at the end of the day, summarising my talk and some of the discussions.

#OccupyLSX

Photographs from #OccupyLSX taken yesterday