Main Stage at QED

I was thrilled to be invited to be a main stage speaker for the QED: Question, Explore, Discover annual convention in …2020.

I was even more thrilled for QED to resume after the pandemic and I can finally take part of this event that I’ve heard so many great things about. (In short, QED is an annual weekend celebration of science, reason and critical thinking. Past speakers include Richard Dawkins, A. C. Grayling, Carol Tavris, Simon Singh, Sophie Scott, Hannah Fry and many other fantastic speakers from the worlds of science and science communication – see why I was so exited?)

My talk was titled ‘Rogue Scientists and the Elephant(s) in the Room’. It unpacked governing challenges in the development of global biotechnology. From experimental stem cell therapies to the CRISPR babies scandal, it seems that regardless of public education, desperate patients still fall into the hands of rogue scientists. Instead of simply being ‘bad scientists duping the public’, the human stories behind rogue science often point to more unsettling questions about what we expect of each other and of science. The point I wanted to make was what rogue experimentation points to and what it says about science and us.

QED offers a great of platform of having serious discussions about science (and politics of science) with a healthy dosage of playfulness. I went there with the impression that this was mainly a ‘British’ scientific skeptics crowd, but I was surprised to encounter many attendees from Europe, North America and Australia. I do hope there will be more contributions from the East Asian science and science communication communities.

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