Sunday, 30 December 2012

Optimism or Pessimism in the New Year?

Our next meeting is at 7pm on Thursday the 10th Jan. This will be the first debate of the year and I look forward to it being a good one so bring a friend.

Happy New Year to one and all. -- from Stephen Milton

“This House believes that we will be better off in 50 years time”

In these times of enormous uncertainty should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future our children will face?

Will the future see us enjoying an ongoing march of progress, delivering unimaginable benefits that will transform our world in the same way that we have seen it transformed in the period since the beginning of the industrial revolution? Or will we succumb to the disasters that threaten us, global warming, raw materials shortages, economic decline?

The very future of the world is the issue. Everybody is welcome to come and listen or participate in the debate which promises to be extremely lively, whatever you point of view.

Making the case for the proposition will be Steve Milton.

Making the case against, will be Duncan Cleverley


Result of the Debate:
The initial vote was 8 for, 12 against, 3 abstentions
The final vote was 8 for, 16 against, 3 abstentions
There were 24 present at the start and 28 at the end, and 1 didn't vote.
So the motion was defeated, but the attendance was excellent,
and the presenters put forward good contrasting arguments,
and there were excellent exchanges from the floor.
Thanks to everyone who participated. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Is the 'Geek Movement' bad for Science?

There's a big debate on the blog linked to below that's well worth a read:

There are responses in the comments from a number of big hitters!
There has also been quite a lot of exchanges on twitter.
For those who may not know, Steve Fuller, the first of the commentators, is a sociologist who has postmodern views on science, and gave a somewhat comic turn at the famous Dover Creationist (or Intelligent Design) trial. See:

David Colquhoun is a Professor at UCL who campaigns against homeopathy and has a blog here:

He tweeted: "If Fuller approves, it must be wrong!" to which I responded "Yes that's usually a good rule of thumb." and got retweeted by the author of the sci2pol blog Haralambos Dayantis.