Controversial debate at British Science Festival

Controversial debate at British Science Festival

What would you do to save your child? And showing mercy or a licence to kill – what are your views on assisted suicide?

These are just two of a number of controversies to be debated at events open to all when the British Science Festival 2012 rolls into Aberdeen City and Shire between September 4 and 9.

Aberdeen GP Peter Kiehlman, who worked on the Scottish National Action Plan for Palliative Care, is one of the speakers at the assisted suicide talk which is free and takes place at the Robertson Trust Lecture Theatre at the Suttie Centre on the city’s Foresterhill health campus on Sunday, September 9, between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.

The arguments for and against the Bone Marrow Registry and the potential need for saviour siblings in the fight against blood cancers will be aired at the Saviour Sibling vs Spit Registry  panel discussion, also free, taking place on Saturday, September 8, between 10am and 12 noon at the Robertson Trust Lecture Theatre at the Suttie Centre.

Few issues fire up public opinion more than medical research involving people and animals and this is the subject of a free talk organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Public Engagement with Research Unit. Café Controversial: Never Work with Children or Animals – part of the University’s popularCafé Scientifique series of talks*- will take place on Tuesday, September 4, between 6pm and 7pm at the Spiegeltent, which will be pitched on the University’s King’s lawn.

And what should governments do to tackle obesity, smoking and drinking to excess? On Sunday, September 9, three researchers from the University of Aberdeen’s Health Economics Research Unit will discuss which may be more beneficial - taxing heavily on items like cigarettes and alcohol or rewarding healthy behaviour. This free event takes place in Lecture Theatre 1 in the University’s Meston Building between 1pm and 2pm.

These are just a handful of almost 250 events taking place during the British Science Festival - Europe’s largest science festival - which is being hosted by the University of Aberdeen.

Dr Ken Skeldon, Head of Public Engagement with Research at the University of Aberdeen and co-chair of the Festival’s programming group, said: “Bringing the British Science Festival to the north of Scotland is an absolutely fantastic coup for the University of Aberdeen and for the people of Aberdeen City and Shire.

“Topical talks that will ignite differing opinions are just a tiny flavour of the many Festival events that have been designed to appeal to all tastes and ages and bookings are being taken now.”

British Science Festival events can be booked online or by ringing 08456 807 207.

The British Science Festival 2012 is being organised by the British Science Association, the University of Aberdeen and Techfest-Setpoint. The principal sponsors are  BP and Shell U.K. Limited

* The University of Aberdeen’s Café Scientifique series is supported by a science engagement grant from the Scottish Government.