Thursday, September 1, 2016

Manchester Diary, Day 3: Pick your poison

With great powers come great responsibilities - Superman

I was up at 6 am this morning.  At first, I had this grand idea of going out for a run, but I remembered how I nearly got ran over by Mr. Speedy yesterday because the whole country is driving on the wrong side and I’m looking the opposite way! I felt safer on the treadmill.

After the early ran, I headed to my meeting pumped with adrenaline. I’m careful not to discuss conference contents here in my personal blog to avoid any possible conflicts of interest, so you can just imagine my delight when I found out about an added public engagement event. For this event, speakers from the conference were going to participate in a science panel discussion at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), and the event is open for non-scientists to attend. 

But before that - the MOSI. The MOSI itself was a delight.  I wanted to see the exhibit on graphene, which was isolated here at the University of Manchester.  For those who are not in the know, graphene is made of carbon, but 100x stronger than steel. Sadly, that exhibit closed early.   Still, there was a lot to take in at the open hall showing how Manchester was front and center in the industrial revolution in Europe, contributing to the Large Hadron Collider, developing ancient computers, mass spectrometry, and electron microscopes.  

This EM is ~6 ft tall cf. to the preset tabletop versions.

I volunteer as tester!
As for the panel discussion, it was very exciting, and I was quite disappointed when it ended.  I mean, we’re trying to solve real life problems here! The premise is this:
You are given charge of $50 Trillion to dedicate its entirety to an area of research that could eradicate 1 of 3 diseases.  Where would you put that fund – Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, or Infectious Disease? 
The 3 experts (or caped crusaders) in the panel gave individual speeches trying to convince you on why you should rally behind their cause.  All the while, a 4th panelist, from big pharma was listening – presumably ready to swoop in and upscale. The audience got to deliberate among ourselves too.

Neuroman (Alzheimer’s Disease crusader) argued that there is nothing more devastating than living a lifestyle of one suffering from this debilitating disease or watching a loved one suffer through it.  Superbug lady (Infectious Disease, I can’t remember her superhero alias) argued that we need to continue the fight and race against drug resistance. Captain Cancer argued that research money could be invested to diagnostics that would let us know if we’re susceptible to the big C. Hmmm.  Would you want to know?

Tough choice for sure, and I’m really itching to share my choice and why, and what the majority voted for (not the same as mine, but I’m seldom with the majority on these issues ). However,  for the time being, I’ll keep those data  to myself.  I want to know what you think. Tell me.

Speaking of poisons...
I got beer educated too - English bitters and milds are not supposed to be chilled.

Proper Fish and Chips... my blood pressure was improper after this, I'm sure.

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