People sometimes make statements like “Science has proven that creationism is wrong” or “Homeopathy has been scientifically proven not to work”. Are such claims valid? Can science ever “prove” something to be true or false? Are there any limits to the topics science can investigate? Join us for an engaging group discussion of these important issues!
See you in week 11 — Asia Centre room 115 on Tuesday May 21, from 12-1pm.
The law has come a long way in recognising the needs of critically ill patients who have no chance of recovery or improvement, to not have their lives needlessly prolonged. Patients telling their stories will show how far the law has come, where it draws the line between what doctors can and can’t do, and how flimsy that line is. However, despite legal developments, there are people who need euthanasia to be legalised. Even if they don’t want it when the time comes, just having it available is a comfort. The challenge for lawyers is to design legislation that will be workable in practice, so that health professionals will feel confident that they can rely on the legal provisions without fear of prosecution. Drafting suitable legislation has been the principal stumbling block in changing the law to permit doctors to assist terminally ill patients who want to die.
This talk will be presented by Professor Loane Skene. Join us in Asia Centre room 115 on Tuesday May 14, at 12.00pm.
Loane Skene is a Professor of Law in the Melbourne Law School and an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She specialises in medical law and ethics. She is a member of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee, and has served on numerous federal and state advisory committees. In 2003, she was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Commonwealth for “Service to Australian Society through the Exploration of Legal and Ethical Issues of Health Care”; and in 2008, a Doctor of Laws (by Examination) at the University of Melbourne. In 2008, she was appointed a Fellow of Queen’s College Melbourne; and, in 2011, a Plumer Fellow of St Anne’s College Oxford.
In this talk, Dr John Wilkins will discuss the controversial fields of evolutionary psychology and sociobiology, and how these can be conducted in a scientifically rigorous manner so as to avoid cultural biases and other potential problems.
John Wilkins is a historian and philosopher of science, and an honorary fellow at The University of Melbourne. He has published on topics including evolution, history and philosophy of biology, and the relationship between religion and biology. He blogs at Evolving Thoughts.
This is our week 9 event — join us on Tuesday May 7 at 12pm, in Asia Centre room 115.
The sexual norms in a society are influenced by social and environmental conditions — and religious beliefs. These norms constantly shift over time. Religion often acts as a moral regulator of sexuality. Is this role obsolete in a 21st century society? Join us for a panel discussion, featuring Fiona Patten from the Australian Sex Party, and sex educators Kate McCombs and Gareth Durrant. This event is co-hosted by the University of Melbourne Secular Society and Sex Geekdom.
This event will be held at Embiggen Books, located at 197-203 Little Londsdale St (next to the State Library), on Tuesday April 30 at 6.30pm. RSVP to Embiggen by emailing email@example.com or call 9662 2062.
It’s time again for the most important event of the year: the Secular Society Annual General Meeting! Attendance at the AGM is extremely important to meet quorum requirements and to ensure the continued success of the club. Remember that Secular Society cannot exist without active members, so we urge you to consider attending, to lead Secular Society into another year on campus. There will also be free pizza!
At the AGM, we will present a President’s Report and Treasurer’s Report, and will also elect a committee. Any club member who is a University of Melbourne student may run for a position on the committee, which consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Officer, and four general committee members.
The AGM will be held in week 7, on Tuesday April 23 at 12pm in Graham Cornish B, Union House level 2 (opposite Rowden White Library…and obviously not our usual location in the Asia Centre).
If you have any questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. James Bradley, academic from the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, and lecturer in history of medicine/life science, will be talking to Secular Society about the emergence of the evidence-based medicine model, and the relationship between evidence-based medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. There will be plenty of time at the end for questions and discussion of the issues raised.
This event will be held on Tuesday March 16 at 12pm, in Asia Centre room 115.
In this joint event between Secular Society and the Christian Union, two speakers from each group will speak about some of the key reasons why they believe what they believe. After some time for Q&A, everyone is encouraged to join us for an informal follow-up discussion of the issues raised by the speakers.
This event is being held in week 5, on Thursday (April 11) at 1pm (note: not our normal day). The main event will be held in Cuming Theatre, which is on the ground floor of the chemistry building. Optional follow-up discussion will be held in Joe Nap B in Union House.