13h30 – 14h45, Thursday 12th July 2018, ESOF 2018 Toulouse.


Although the association between brain injury in sport, in particular boxing, and risk of dementia has been recognised for almost a century this issue only came to prominence in the last decade with the recognition of a specific neurodegenerative disease, known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy brain degeneration), in former American footballers; a subject dramatized in the film “Concussion” featuring Will Smith as Forensic Neuropathologist Dr Bennet Omalu.

AAAS ANNUAL MEETING, February 2018, Austin Texas, USA.

Session Summary:

Just as a pile of bricks is not a house, science without public engagement remains incomplete. Policymaking must be on the pulse of society’s wants or it too will fail in its application. Framing things as ‘science vs. society’ with science in the right doesn’t convince.

This session unites key actors striking a science & society policymaking balance to explore the interplay between ‘facts’ and ‘fears’ on 3 topical issues: vaccine hesitancy, food safety in nuclear disaster zone & eating bacteria for good health.

WORLD SCIENCE FORUM JORDAN, Special Session No 5: 11h30 – 13h00, Wednesday 8th November, Venue: Petra 2, Sea Floor

Session Summary:

How does artificial and human intelligence combine to help fight extremism content on Utube where 83% of worrisome videos are now being flagged in real-time and what should we think when Google’s AlphaGoZero teaches itself to be the world’s best Go player and dispenses with human wisdom? Is it already the present for some of us and the future for all to have Android receptionists in our shopping malls, robot workers in our factories or to have our newspaper articles written by search engines or our CVs and job interviews handled by machines? Do we even need Chief Science Advisers in government when AI might provide less biased answers or researchers in our labs when technology doesn’t need eating, smoking, toilet or sleeping breaks?

WORLD SCIENCE FORUM JORDAN, Special Session No 8: 16h30 – 18h00, Wednesday 8th November, Venue: Dead Sea 1, Sea Floor

Round-table abstract:

International funding – especially from philanthropy, development cooperation agencies, and multilateral agencies, constitutes a significant share of the total R&D spend in Africa. For example, in South Africa where national R&D expenditure is just below 0.8% of GDP, approximately 15% of this is sourced from foreign funding. Whilst science prospers through international cooperation and attracting foreign investment to strengthen science and innovation capacities is pursued by developed and developing countries alike, this session will examine if an over-reliance on international funding, as is often the case in Africa, distorts national R&D agendas.