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From MMR to Climategate: Are We All Scientific Experts Now? – Lecture on 9 October

iDisc is pleased to announce that Professor Harry Collins will deliver the inaugural lecture in the iDisc Critical Thinking lecture series, on Wednesday 9 October.

Professor Collins will address the question, ‘From MMR to Climategate: Are We All Scientific Experts Now?’. The lecture will discuss the relationship between news media and scientific controversy. Scientific controversies, like the Climate Research Unit emails leaked during “Climategate”, often make the news. Sometimes scientific controversies also kill people — an obvious recent example being the MMR vaccine debacle. Often it turns out that, among mainstream scientists, there was never any controversy. How does this happen? Why do we confuse the media and vocal members of the public with real scientific expertise? Professor Collins argues that, “If we start to believe we are all scientific experts, society will change: it will be those with the power to enforce their ideas or those with the most media appeal who will make our truths according to whatever set of interests they are pursuing.”

The lecture will take place in the Birt Acres Lecture Theatre, Bute Building, and will be followed by a wine and cheese reception. Tickets are free, but registration is essential. Please book your ticket here.

The iDisc Critical Thinking lecture series was conceived during last year’s Vice Chancellor’s Cardiff Futures programme. For more information on the iDisc group, visit the blog.

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