Alan Whitehead MP has agreed to host a meeting in the House of Commons as part of our developing project on Science Matters. Alan will host a meeting on Food, Science & Society.
The purpose of the meeting will be to debate the differing scientific views around global food scarcity focusing on the high technology solutions such as genetically modified foods and the approach of alternative technology particularly through agro ecology.
Often people take political positions and then look to science to back them up. So what is the science and what the politics. And what is the balance between politics and science in shaping our future.
In this meeting we will be working with both the British Council and collaboration with Famelab a project of young scientists and Practical Action who have been heavily influenced by the work of Fritz Schumacher.and his small is beautiful approach to development. Scientists have championed both sides of these approaches to scarcity.
Alan Whitehead is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Southampton Test since 1997. He went to Isleworth Grammar School and then studied Politics and Philosophy at the University of Southampton, was President of Southampton University Students' Union and holds a PhD in Political Science. From[masked] he was Director of OUTSET, then from[masked] he worked for BIIT, being Director, both being charities. Before becoming an MP, Dr Whitehead was the Leader of Southampton City Council from 1984 to 1992 and a Professor of Public Policy at Southampton Institute.
Simon Watt will commence this meeting with a stand up routine. Simon uses comedy as one way to engage audiences in science. He is a biologist, writer, science communicator and TV presenter. He runs “Ready Steady Science”, a science communication company committed to making information interesting and takes science-based performances into schools, museums, theatres and festivals. He is MC/president for life of the “Ugly Animal Preservation Society” which is a comedy night with a conservation twist.
Johnjoe McFadden is an Irish scientist, academic and writer and Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom. For more than a decade, Prof McFadden has researched the genetics of microbes such as the agents of tuberculosis and meningitis and invented a test for the diagnosis of meningitis. He has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals on subjects as wide-ranging as bacterial genetics, tuberculosis, idiopathic diseases and computer modelling of evolution. He has contributed to more than a dozen books and has edited a book on the genetics of mycobacteria. He produced a widely reported artificial life computer model which modelled evolution in organisms. He has lectured extensively in the UK, Europe, the US and Japan and his work has been featured in radio, television and national newspaper articles particularly for the Guardian.
Chris Henderson is the Senior Policy and Practice Advisor in Agriculture for Practical Action. He provides technical advice and support on agriculture development policy for their national and regional offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as for the organisation in UK. He is currently leading the development of Practical Action’s position and strategies in Food Security and Agriculture with special focus on Making Agriculture work for Small Holder Farmers in a Changing Climate.
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide.
Practical Action works alongside communities to find practical solutions to the poverty they face. They see technology as a vital contributor to people’s livelihoods.
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