Edinburgh International Book Festival 2007
Edinburgh International Book Festival 30.11.1999
In Summer 2007, the Forum will be sponsoring a series of five events with eminent thinkers and writers at this year's Edinburgh International Book Festival, including a debate especially aimed at young people.
The Stem Cell Challenge
Monday 13 August, 7.30pm, Highland Park Spiegeltent
The swiftly evolving technology of stem cell research provides both hope and concern. Soon incurable diseases may be treatable; but what of the ethics of it all, the harvesting of the cells and the implications? Join leading philosopher Brenda Almond, a member of the Human Genetic Commission, and John Evans, visiting US thinker and academic in this field. Hear the evidence, have your say.
Freedoms and Fear
Tuesday 14 August, 7.00pm, RBS Children’s Theatre
How would you feel if your DNA profile were on a national database? Would this affect your personal freedom? How could a database of this sort benefit society? Which should be the priority, personal liberty or public safety? Join the Scottish Youth Parliament and the experts: human rights lawyer Piya D Muqit and Tom Nelson, Director of Forensic Services for the Scottish Police Services Authority, for a lively debate on a remarkably complex issue.
Who am I? Human Identity
Sunday 19 August, 7.30pm, Highland Park Spiegeltent
What is our identity as individuals really composed of? Does our genome – the whole hereditary information encoded in our DNA – define us? Our environment and our life experiences cannot be discounted. A philosopher, Julian Baggini, a doctor, Alice Roberts and an expert in genomics , discuss.
Nature and Nurture Revisited
Monday 20 August, 7.30pm, Highland Park Spiegeltent
Is our behaviour caused by our genes or our environment? Or is it a little less simple than that – does in fact the environment affect our genes? Can genes be ‘switched on’ by a set of circumstances (a child in a violent home)? Discuss the latest scientific insights with our panel including philosopher Simon Blackburn and science writer Robin McKie. Chaired by Sergio della Sala.
The Future of Nature
Sunday 26 August, 7.30pm, Highland Park Spiegeltent
Intelligent plants and biocomputing: the old boundaries are breaking down as the stuff of life is used in ever more inventive and remarkable ways. Oliver Morton examines how plants may be used in the future. Martyn Amos is a pioneer of DNA computing, where genetic material, the new ‘wetware’, may be used to programme: a breathtaking glimpse into a future where the nature of life itself is reassessed.