Science vs ideology

Event Announcement for our ‘Crossing the Mountain’ event (Feb 2017)

A Google image search of ‘Monsanto’ will throw up all manner of scary looking pictures; syringes piercing tomatoes, skull & crossbones over the company logo, protesters in hazmat suits, and fields of crops with biohazard signs hanging over them to name just a few.

Monsanto is now one of the most hated companies in the world. The primary reason for this hatred is their development and propagation of Genetically Modified crops, generally referred to as GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

Such is the fear of GMOs that there are protests across the world, calls for bans, demands for labelling, and significant lobbying of governments. Lobbying of this nature, and public perception, played significant parts in Scotland’s 2015 ban on the growing of GMO crops. Lauded by many, but criticised heavily in scientific circles, the controversial decision appears to have been made based on ideology rather than any actual risk to public health.

In order to address these perception issues, Monsanto have appointed former World Bank Communications Strategist Vance Crowe as Director of Millenial Engagement. Next month Vance will be coming to the UK to deliver a limited number of public talks, and local organization Glasgow Skeptics have managed to secure the first of these.

Glasgow Skeptics is an organization committed to promoting science and critical thinking. Hosting regular talks since 2009 they’re no strangers to controversial and fascinating topics. A look through their previous lectures throws up subjects such as Evolution denial, Scientology, the Scottish referendum, and Euthanasia.
Brian Eggo, President of Glasgow Skeptics, puts the Vance Crowe / Monsanto visit into perspective: “Here at Glasgow Skeptics we’re committed to putting aside personal biases, ideologies, and preconceived ideas in order to examine what is true. We’re very excited to have Vance coming over to speak for us, but we’ve already received some scathing criticism for our decision to host a lecture by a Monsanto employee. I’d encourage people to come along to our event, evaluate the facts and evidence provided, and participate in what I’m sure will be a rigorous Q&A session at the end of the talk.”

The event takes place on Monday 13th February at the Admiral Bar. Entry is free, and you can get more details from the Glasgow Skeptics website (glasgowskeptics.com).

Event image: Why the public has come to fear modern agricultural technology; Especially Monsanto, GMOs and Crop Protectio