Science & society: brave new world or geek chic?

Tuesday 1 October, 6.30pm until 8.30pm, Foyles Charing Cross, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB UK Satellite Events 2013

£7.50/£5 from

Sensationalist headlines surrounding the so-called ‘three parent baby’ offered a reminder of how scientific advancements can divide opinion. Public debate around significant scientific challenges can still be fractious, with the scientific community viewed with suspicion and critics regularly being dubbed scientifically illiterate ‘deniers’ Yet, on issues from nuclear power to GM food, previously controversial scientific advances have become slowly accepted by former opponents. Meanwhile, popular culture hails the rise of the age of the geek, pointing towards the success of everything from science-friendly programmes from Doctor Who and The Wonders of the Universe to the growing ‘skeptic’ movement and the rise of the TED talk. Have public attitudes towards scientific progress and experimentation significantly shifted in recent years? Is society more or less willing to embrace bold new developments in science and technology than ever before? Are we at the dawn of a new age of public enlightenment?

Dr Anjana Ahuja
science writer; co-author, Selected: why some people lead, why others follow and why it matters

Barbara Hewson
barrister, Middle Temple; writer and commentator

Dr Adam Rutherford
geneticist, science writer and broadcaster, BBC; author, Creation and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Story In our Genes; presenter, Inside Science and The Cell

Angela Saini
science journalist; author, Geek Nation: how Indian science is taking over the world

Sandy Starr
communications officer, Progress Educational Trust; webmaster, BioNews

Jonathan Webb
neuroscientist, writer and performer

David Bowden
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer

Produced by
David Bowden associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; culture writer
Recommended readings
The robots are coming - but not fast enough

The claim that mechanisation is sweeping away jobs in a wave of innovation bears little relation to reality.

James Woudhuysen, spiked, 15 July 2013

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