Rewriting our genes?

poster SCW_Rewriting out genesFriday September 30th

15:00 doors open
15:30 speakers
C1040, Orion, building nr. 103

Prof. Jennifer Doudna and Dr. Edze Westra are known for their work on CRISPR-Cas, a defense system present in many bacterial species. The potential applications of these systems may have a tremendous impact on medicine and biotechnology. CRISPR-systems allow for editing of DNA, the genetic code in humans, animals and plants. A gene causing disease could simply be replaced by a desired variant allowing for example a potentially incurable disease to be tackled, or plant breeding to be accelerated towards specified targets. This raises big ethical issues; Are scientists allowed to pursue these endeavors? Can we oversee the impact and risks of this technology? And if we decide to edit genomes, what are our ethical limits?

The lecture is free but subscription is required before 25th of September:

15.00 Room C1040 opens
15:30 – 17:15 Welcome by John van der Oost, lectures by Edze Westra and Jennifer Doudna and a debate moderated by Philip Macnaghten.
17:15- 18:00 Drinks in The Spot (Orion)

Previous session: Behavioural economics

poster SCW_behavioural economicsThursday June 23rd

19:45 live music
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

Humans have evolved to become decision-making experts. Thousands of years of evolution have fine-tuned our brains to make quick, smart and efficient decisions, essential for our survival. So why do we seem to make irrational choices?

While standard economics assumes that humans are rational beings making optimal decisions, it turns out this is often not the case. Are we faulty decision-making machines? In this Science Cafe session we refer to behavioural economics and consumer studies to explore the process of decision making. How does it work and how can we maybe influence people to make smarter decisions?

Prof. Arno Riedl (Maastricht University) and Dr. Eva van den Broek (WUR) will address these questions. Simon Vink will be our moderator.

Prof. Arno Riedl is professor of public economics at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics and active in the Maastricht University Center of Neuroeconomics. He studied economics at the University of Vienna, and obtained his PhD in economics and social sciences at the same university. He is an expert in behavioural and experimental economics and investigates human decision-making, drawing on insights from ideology, psychology, neuroscience and economics. His research ranges from decision-making under risk and uncertainty (e.g., insurances, pension savings) to the neuronal underpinning of individual and social choices.

Dr. Eva van den Broek is researcher behavioural economics at the agricultural economic institute (LEI, part of Wageningen UR) in Wageningen. She studied Artificial Intelligence at Utrecht University and received a PhD degree in economics and biology at the University of Amsterdam. Her expertise covers economics, consumer sciences and marketing, which she applies in her current research on consumer behaviour. She is also active as a science columnist at, with psychology, (behavioural) economy, sustainability, and health as tags common to her contributions.

Exploring and discussing science with professionals, funky music and a drink.