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RTE Big Science Debate (Castlebar Library)

Date(s): 27th September, 2007 7.00pm

For More Information, Contact:

Phone: +353 (0)94 9047925


The ethical questions raised by biological research and biomedicine, such as stem cell research, IVF, genetic modification and euthanasia are a major cause for concern as science continues to advance rapidly. Is human enhancement making people better or making better people? It is important that these issues are discussed and that the general public have an informed understanding on bioethical issues. In September RTÉ, in association with The Irish Council for Bioethics (ICB) and Science Foundation Ireland, will launch RTÉ’s Big Science Debate; a nationwide road show, radio series and website.

From 24 September until 5 November RTÉ’s Big Science Debate Road Show will be out and about visiting towns throughout Ireland. A panel of expert guests - including some celebrity scientists - will debate ethical dilemmas facing humankind in front of a local audience. RTE’s Big Science Debate will be hosted by Dr Siobhán O’Sullivan. On Thursday September 27th the debate comes to Castlebar Library where the topic will be "In your Blood: Forensic DNA Databases".

In an age when Governments are doing more and more to fight the threat of terrorism, many would argue that only the guilty have anything to fear when it comes to using DNA databases in criminal investigations. But should everyone’s blood be sampled in order to prevent crime? How long should these blood samples be kept for and who should have access to them? Are we in serious danger of sacrificing our civil rights?

We are inviting all members of the public to come along to the library and join in the Big Science Debate. Entrance is free and all are welcome to attend. Members of the public should arrive at venues at 6.50pm.

RTÉ Radio 1 has also launched a dedicated website (external site: opens new window) where members of the public can submit questions for each debate, answer polls and learn more about RTE’s Big Science Debate topics, with downloadable information sheets which have been developed by the Irish Council for Bioethics.

Each of The Big Science Debate road shows will be recorded and broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 at 6pm on Sundays from 7 October.

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