Science and Technology Group
Next Meeting - The Impact of Science and Technology on the Development of the NHS
We are extremely pleased to confirm the details of our joint meeting with the Economics and Current Affairs Group on the 23rd November. We will be welcoming Sir Richard Sykes, one of our most eminent scientists. He will be addressing the huge question of how technology might survive the NHS, arguably the most-loved of Britain's institutions, but one that is facing a more challenging future than ever before.
Note that as this meeting will be in the Library and the dress code will be evening dress. Following the Econ Group's convention, those who are coming directly from work or are travelling are welcome to attend in lounge suits.
For more details, please visit the Richard Sykes page.
Note that our next scheduled meeting has been cancelled. Anil Seth has been invited to The Mind Brain Institute in Berlin which is having a conference to mark their 10 year anniversary. He has been invited to deliver their 'distinguished keynote lecture', which will form the culmination of a week of celebratory events. It is very unfortunate that this event directly clashes with our meeting, scheduled for the 19th October, but under the circumstances we have no option but to cancel the October meeting.
Our Last Meeting
Our meeting on the 13th of September was very lively. The evening was oppressively hot and the speaker, Tim Leunig defied 175 years' weight of tradition by refusing to wear a tie. This created a very difficult situation for the staff, but, predictably, Huw rose to the occasion and declared that the dress code departure could be tolerated as long as the speaker was confined to the Strangers' Room throughout.
After the excitement over going tie-less, Prof Leunig's talk proved equally dramatic. His command of the subject was outstanding. Our group included specialists in education and at least one fellow economic historian. The talk strayed beyond the narrow confines of a discussion of the science curriculum to more general education matters, including a comparison of how we are tackling the need to produce a workforce prepared for the new digital age with our European neighbours. We learned about how Finland is increasingly not the role model it may once have been. We even heard about how a bit about the technology used in the Lancashire textile industry in the 19th Century. The presence of a number of teachers and education specialists made the Q&A very lively.
The Reform Club Science and Technology Group was formed in July 2006 by a group of Club members who felt that prompted by a sense that almost all contemporary issues have a scientific or technological dimension. Our first speaker was Baroness Susan Greenfield giving a talk to us entitled "Ageing and the Brain" on 6th February 2007.
The group’s focus is on the social and ethical implications of science and technology, rather than the complexities of the science itself. we aim to generate a high level of debate and dialogue, helping us all to get to grips with the real scientific issues behind the headlines we all see every day.
Speakers have come from all over the world, bringing a wide variety expertise. Unlike so many forums for debate, the Group benefits from a position of total independence from the scientific and political establishments, so that discussion about social and economic implications can be carried out in a spirit of open enquiry.
- Dr Roger Highfield, 3 February
- Prof Dame Celia Hoyles, 9 April
- Prof Graham Rook, 21 April
- Prof Geoff Targett, 25 May
- Prof David Nutt, 8 June
- Prof Tim Leunig, 13 September
- Prof Anil Seth, 19th October
- Sir Richard Sykes, 23 November
Next Year's Programme
Provisional dates for 2017 are as follows (all meeting are on Wednesdays, usually the 3rd one of each month):
|Month||Day of Month||Speaker||Title|
|January||No Meeting||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|February||15th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|March||15th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|April||19th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|May||16th, 17th, 23rd, or 31st||Still To Be Confirmed!||To Be Confirmed|
|June||21st||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|July||No Meeting||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|August||No Meeting||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|September||20th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|October||18th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|November||15th||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
|December||No Meeting||To Be Confirmed||To Be Confirmed|
We hope to invite the following speakers:
Topics under active consideration are:
- Digital Art
- Computer Gaming/Virtual Worlds
- Energy Storage
- Crypto Currencies
- Robots and the future of human work
- The end of antibiotics
- Patient-centred medicine
- New materials and 3-D Printing
- Nuclear Fusion
- The Dark Net
- End of Life Experiences
- Nano Technology
- Peak Oil and Fracking
- Semantic Web
- In-vitro Meat (or algaculture?)
- Medical Robots
- Gene Therapy