1st Announcement: The Integrity of Science


The Integrity of Science

A conference about the conflict between public policy and independent science, in honour of Dr. Árpád Pusztai (1930 – 2021)

Edinburgh (UK), 26 – 27 May 2023
open to both on site and online participation

 

Organised by

European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER)
Mariolopoulos Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences

This announcement can be found online at

1st Announcement: The Integrity of Science

 

The conference will be in two parts:

Day one (26 May 2023) will honour Dr Árpád Pusztai (who passed away in 2021) and will recall his work and discuss the controversies of his later findings.

Day two (27 May 2023) will probe the continuing conflicts between public policy and critical science, with the purpose of improving public understanding and use of science.

 

Day 1: A memorial to Dr. Árpád Pusztai

Friday, 26 May 2023, 15:00 – 22:00 GMT

In 1998, Dr. Árpád Pusztai, a world expert on plant lectins, sparked a public debate on the safety of genetically modified (GM) food by speaking on the British TV programme World in Action about the health damage he found in rats fed GM potatoes containing lectins in preliminary tests. As a result of this brief TV interview, he was suspended from his job at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland.

His research had been commissioned by the Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department of the Scottish Office (the precursor of the present Scottish government). The sharp and prolonged criticism from scientific circles which followed the events, has never been substantiated by tenable scientific arguments. Indeed, his findings have been supported by other independent research that also casts doubt on the safety of some GM food.

Pusztai’s standing as a biochemist and specialist on animal feed was recognised and beyond doubt before these events.

This memorial will describe this episode. We hope we can lay the controversies to rest.

 

Day 2: Conference “The Integrity of Science”

Saturday, 27 May 2023, 10:00 – 17:00 GMT

 

Pusztai’s story is not unique. Fundamental scientific research is often suppressed in areas where human or environmental health or biodiversity are shown or suspected to be at risk, and even when a new finding is merely unconventional.

In day two, the corruptive influence of entrenched or commercial interests on science in the last decades will be described and analysed, with references to many similar cases (tobacco, asbestos, pesticides, electromagnetic radiation, PFAS, climate change, COVID19, etc.). The list of lessons not learned from early scientific warnings[1] still grows. The grave consequences of this corruption of science for the future of humanity and our planet will be the focus of the conference.

We hope that this conference will inspire fuller appreciation of the values of science, beyond the community of scientists, especially including young scientists.

 

Confirmed speakers are:

Day 1:

  • Stanley Ewen, Histopathology Dept., University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  • Angelika Hilbeck, Institute of Integrative Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Vyvyan Howard, Professor of Bioimaging, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
  • Andrew Rowell, author
  • Susan Bardocz, Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Debrecen, Hungary

Day 2:

  • Ulrich Loening, Centre for Human Ecology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Vyvyan Howard, Professor of Bioimaging, Biomedical Sciences Institute, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
  • Ignacio Chapela, Professor, Dept. of Environmental Science, University of California Berkeley, USA
  • Brian Wynne, Professor of Science Studies, Lancaster University, England
  • Christine von Weizsäcker, Ecoropa

 

Call for submissions

We invite submissions to speak for both days, including personal memories about Árpád Pusztai and accounts about scientific integrity. Please send proposals to Diederick Sprangers, ENSSER Scientific Coordinator,

 

 

Venue

 

Royal Society of Edinburgh

22 – 26 George Street

Edinburgh EH2 2PQ

Scotland

 

 

Participation

 

Both on site and online participation will be possible. Details of registration will be announced in due time.

[1]     European Environment Agency, “Late Lessons from Early Warnings”, Vols. I and II, Copenhagen, 2001 and 2013, https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/environmental_issue_report_2001_22 and https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/late-lessons-2

 

Attachments