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San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Professor Harry Collins, Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, will deliver the inaugural lecture in the Cardiff Critical Thinking lecture series. Scientific controversies, like the Climate Research Unit emails leaked during "Climategate", often make the news. Sometimes scientific controversies also kill people -- an obvious recent example being the MMR vaccine debacle. Often it turns out that, among expert scientists, there was never any controversy. How does this happen? Why do we confuse the media and vocal members of the public with real scientific experts? Professor Collins will use the examples of the MMR controversy, Climategate, and the tragedy of anti-retroviral drugs in South Africa to argue that, "If we start to believe we are all scientific experts, society will change: it will be those with the power to enforce their ideas or those with the most media appeal who will make our truths according to whatever set of interests they are pursuing."
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iDisc is a Cardiff University group which aims to foster contact and collaboration between the disciplines.