Academic day two: needed several cups of tea and a lie down after this one.
By Emily Earnshaw
From the theatre:
Benjamin. Motherflipping. Goldacre. No but guys, really, did you see his little face on that big screen? His charming inability to understand how video-sharing works? His brilliant little pixelated gestures as he talked wildly and rapidly about how we are undermining ourselves in clinical trials? Oh me oh my, talk about academic brilliance – never have I ever been so very interested in statins or the calibre of clinical research. Not to mention the refresher he gave us all in thinking critically about the evidence put in front of us. However, I think my favourite moment of his keynote presentation was his sheepish side-of-stage moment, “If I was in the room, I would be competently entertaining.” You were, Dr Goldacre, you absolutely were.
“If I was in the room, I would be competently entertaining.”
From the workshops:
So what does ‘GMO food’ mean to you? At the beginning of the debate in workshop room six, I wasn’t really sure. By the end of the debate, I can confidently say I am sure, and if anyone tries to challenge me, I have so much ammunition for a fired up argument. Chaired by the inimitable Emeritus Professor Lindsay, the WA Debate pros back-and-forthed with such conviction and wit that I was glued to the seat, absorbed in the tortuosity of patenting GM food and whether we’re using the food already available to the extent that we should. Will GM foods help solve global hunger? Or will GM food patents be held tight in the grip of an oligopoly of companies, leaving small farmers in the lurch? I’ll leave with this parting thought from the Prof: “Of the global issues that have emerged in the twentieth century