In an intriguing and captivating lecture to the NYSF 2017, Associate Professor David Caldicott explored the politics of science, the rise of anti-science and some of the challenges that the world faces. Dr Caldicott is an Emergency Consultant at Calvary Hospital in Canberra, an Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the ANU Faculty of Medicine.
Dr Caldicott is well known for his stance on the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and combating drug use through education and pill testing. He stressed to the participants his view that drug use should be treated as a health issue rather than a criminal issue. His research has shown that people are less likely to use drugs if they know the actual composition, reinforcing the evidence which routinely shows the best way to change behaviours is through science rather than morality.
Using his experience and knowledge, Dr Caldicott used this to emphasise the importance in being involved in politics as an advocate for the accurate representation of science, giving the participants advice for surviving in a world where even the truth is present. He concluded his presentation with a few important reminders for the participants as they finish their high school studies and head out into the world.
Be true to yourselves, your beliefs and what you stand for
“Be true to yourselves, your beliefs and what you stand for. Live in the intersections, talking to people in other disciplines.” He emphasised the importance of being a good communicator.
The presentation was thoroughly enjoyed by the participants with Dr Caldicott’s advice and humour engaging the students well. One participant, Adele enjoyed the lecture as it appealed to everyone no matter their interest area.
“The lecture was good whether you were coming from a health, physics or chemistry background as it was really relevant to everyone. This coupled with David’s presentation skills really got you interested and excited not only about the specific issue of drugs but the wider themes he was talking about like politics in science.”
Thankyou David for sharing your experience and for making an advocate out of all of us!
Veronica O’Mara, NYSF 2017 Session C Communications Intern and NYSF 2014 Alumna