Spin Walk / Fixed science TV debate / ESF genetics meets (12/10/2004)
1.Upcoming SpinWatch event - Spinwalk at the European Social Forum
2.Genetics related meetings at the European Social Forum 2004
3.Science TV debates fixed by usual suspects!
1.Upcoming SpinWatch event
Spinwalk at the European Social Forum on Friday 15 October 2004
Join the SpinWatch guided walk of some of the key PR and lobbying offices in London. This event will be of interest to activists interested in corporate propaganda (including biotech) who are in London for the European Social Forum.
The walk begins at 9.15 outside University of London Union on the corner of Malet Street and Torrington Place, opposite Waterstone's bookshop and will last approximately three hours (including a break along the way!).
2.Genetics related meetings at the European Social Forum 2004 London - October 14-17th
GeneWatch is working with other groups to organise a series of seminars and workshops on genetics and related issues at this year's European Social Forum. These meetings will be an ideal opportunity to meet and discuss the important issues with others from Europe and around the world.
Find out meeting details: http://www.genewatch.org/esf.htm
You can find out more and how to register (GBP20-GBP30 for individuals for three days) at: www.fse-esf.org
3. Science TV debates fixed by usual suspects
A little while back Channel 5 TV in the UK upset big pharma and related interests when it ran a drama programme about the possible link of the MMR vaccine to autism. The drama was followed by a debate featuring Dr Mike Fitzpatrick - part of the LM network - and Evan Harris MP, who were among those attacking the programme makers and the critics of the MMR vaccine.
Channel 5 has obviously been heavily lobbied to make amends as now it is to run a series of science "debates" which are billed as "providing everyone with the chance to have a say on science" but do the exact opposite to judge from the panel below.
The 4 panelists include:
+LM-er Mike Fitzpatrick
+Evan Harris MP (virulently pro-GM, etc.)
+Mark Henderson of The Times whose headlines on GM say it all:
*GM grass to put club golfers on par with the best
*GM crops could revive endangered wildlife
*GM cotton boon for Indian farmers
*Bananas 'will slip into extinction without GM'
*Stupidity just another disease to cure, says DNA pioneer
*Attack on safety of GM crops was unfounded
*New GM rice could transform the fight against famine
*BBC incited eco-terror on GM drama website
*Protesters 'censor' GM crop benefits
*Modified crops help man and wildlife
+Stephen Minger is an embryonic stem cell pioneer
The panel appears to have been dreamt up by Susan Greenfield's Royal Institution whose science Media Centre is headed by Fiona Fox - also part of the LM group like Fitzpatrick. LM's specialty is organising debates which are supposedly balanced but actually carefully orchestrated to promote their own agenda - see here for more:
Also on Fox
Ri launches headline debates - come and discuss science in the news!
The Royal Institution (Ri) and Channel Five (Five) have joined forces for the very first time to deliver the Headline Debates, an exciting and innovative new series of debates focusing on the latest science stories to hit the headlines, providing everyone with the chance to have a say on science when it is at its most exciting and controversial.
Join Five's Sheena McDonald, for the inaugural 'Headline debate' at the Ri this Wednesday 13 October 2004 at 7.00pm which will see contributions from:
- Dr Michael Fitzpatrick (GP, columnist and author of MMR and autism: what parents need to know)
- Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem MP for Oxford West & Abingdon, Shadow Health Secretary until 2003 and member of both the BMA Medical Ethics Committee
and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee)
- Mark Henderson (The Times science correspondent)
- Dr Stephen Minger (Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory at King's College London and derived the first human embryonic stem cell line in the UK)
The panellists and the audience will debate controversial issues such as fertility, the 5-in-1 vaccine, stem cell research and cloning, as well as any other topics that may hit the headlines over the next two weeks.
The debate should be over by 8.15pm after which you are invited to continue the discussion with other members of the audience in the library over a glass of wine.
Tickets are GBP8, GBP5 concessions. To book please call the events team on 020 7409 2992 or log onto www.rigb.org