30th October 2007
Trust in science explored
More than 500 people turned up to listen to a thought provoking talk from Professor Lord Robert Winston at the University of Lincoln last night.
He spoke about the ethics of scientists and the issues of trust which surround those ethics, and said there needed to be a focus on the publics’ trust in science. The title of the Munton Medallion guest lecture was ‘Can we trust the ethics of scientists?’
Lord Winston spoke about a number of ethical issues in science including the triple MMR vaccine, animal experimentation, cloning of humans, genetics and evolution.
Lord Winston, Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, is perhaps best known for presenting the Human Body, Super Human and Child of our Time.
He has earned an international reputation for his research into human reproduction and pioneered advances which are now widely used in fertility and IVF treatment.
He suggested ways in which universities could encourage ethical responsibility amongst science students, particularly focusing on teaching communication skills and providing courses on ethics.
A 20 minute question and answer session took place in which students questioned Lord Winston on his opinion on a number of subjects including animal experimentation and DNA databases.
This year’s Munton Medallion was also launched at the talk, inviting students to demonstrate ethical excellence by submitting a piece of work that shows an understanding of ethical issues in their lives and relationships.
The Munton Medallion is dedicated to the memory of Geoffrey Munton who helped many people in so many ways. The audience heard from Dr Bill Frankland who was a great friend of Geoffrey, he spoke about the time they spent together as Japanese prisoners of war and the kindness and courage of his late friend.
Notes to editors:
1. The student who is awarded the Munton Medallion will receive a sponsored trip to the USA and £1000.
2. Students from both the University of Lincoln and Salve Regina University, Rhode Island, USA are invited to submit work.
3. Dr Bill Frankland gave the country the ‘pollen count’ and worked under Alexander Flemming on the team which discovered penicillin.
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