Human rights, terrorism on Open Day agenda

Thursday, 11 August 2005

Human rights, terrorism, genetically modified food and what makes a good society are among topics for discussion at this year's new-look University of Adelaide Open Day this Sunday (14 August) from 10am to 4pm at its North Terrace Campus.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha will officially open the day at 10am in Bonython Hall. The official opening will also feature a traditional indigenous welcome with dancers.

In adopting a number of different themes that encourage interaction, The Forum and Science Outside the Square will be the signature events where scientists, academics and community leaders will address the big issues of the day.

Adelaide Thinker in Residence and world-renowned neuroscientist Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield will add an international flavour to "Genes of Bragg", one of the Science Outside the Square activities.

In an attempt to increase the accessibility of science to the South Australian community, Science Outside the Square continues into next month (it started in July) and has provided a platform for informed public debate and discourse about contemporary scientific issues that affect the community.

In his Forum topic "Genetically Modified Food: Is it Good for the Planet?" Federation Fellow Professor Mark Tester, from the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics based at the University's Waite Campus, questions whether genetically modified foods can help rid the world of starvation and their impact on people's health.

Views about stem cell research vary widely and many - United States president George W. Bush in particular - question its validity. Professor Peter Rathjen, Executive Dean of the University's Faculty of Sciences, will be among the speakers as they discuss this hotly debated issue in another Forum.

A third topic is "Human Rights and Terrorism: Where do we draw the line?" This Forum has attracted the Hon. John von Doussa QC, Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, and President of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, and Dr John Bruni from the University's Centre for Asian Studies) who is widely quoted on the so-called War on Terror, among other conflicts across the world.


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