Events in 2017


Brexit - Keep Calm and Carry On?


What a way to start the year. The Center for International Security and Governance invited me to moderate a panel on Brexit, the UK's decision to leave the European Union. It was one of those challenges I just couldn't pass up... A challenge because there's just so much ground to cover, and so many uncertainties. The speakers were Sir Peter Torry, former UK ambassador to Germany, Dr Barbara Lippert, director of research at the Stiftung for Wissenschaft und Politik, German MEP Axel Voss, and Josef Janning, head of the European Council on Foreign Affairs in Berlin.


Torry (R), ZA (C), Voss (L) © The Center for International Security and Governance


Events in 2016


Battle of Ideas - 22 and 23 October 2016


I had a great time speaking on a panel on big data at this year's Battle of Ideas festival in London. The full title of the panel was 'Big Data: Does Size Matter?', which is also the title of a book by broadcaster and comedian Timandra Harkness, who held an opening mini-lecture. Other speakers were Will Moy, director of Full Fact, and Dr Alex Powlesland, principle scientist at Immunicore. It was part of a special strand of debates called 'The Future Now: Science and Technology'. The slogan of the festival was "free speech allowed". It was a fantastic opportunity and I was really happy to take part. Plus, it was a chance to visit the city of my birth for the first time in about five years. Maybe it's because I"m a Londoner... The Battle of Ideas was organised by the Institute of Ideas and held at the Barbican. Audio and, hopefully, a few pix coming very soon.


© Battle of Ideas / Institute of Ideas



66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting


On 28 June 2016, I hosted a "Press Talk" panel discussion on Women in Science at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Guests included Helga Nowoty, Professor emerita of Social Studies of Science, ETH Zurich, and member of the Lindau Meeting's board of trustees; Nobel Laureate Takaaki Kajita, winner of the 2015 Physics Nobel Prize; Ulrike Böhm, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen; and Young Scientist Ayesha Azez (although Ayesha failed to show).


From left: Ulrike Böhm, Helga Nowotny, Takaaki Kajita, and me. © Zulfikar Abbany


Global Media Forum

Cyber Security in the 21st century – Is there a balance between security, privacy and surveillance?


On 15 June 2016, I moderated a panel on cybersecurity at the Global Media Forum in Bonn. The discussion panel was hosted by retired US Ambassador, James D. Bindenagel, Henry Kissinger Professor and director of the Center for International Security and Governance at Bonn University. The panelists were Stefan Heumann of the foundation, neue verantwortung, Ulrich Kelber, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, Member of the German Bundestag, Wolfgang Kopf, Senior Vice President Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom, Matthew Smith, Institute of Computer Science, Chair for Usable Security and Privacy, Bonn University. You can hear the discussion on Soundcloud.


© Deutsche Welle / Global Media Forum



Events in 2015


World Health Summit


In October 2015 I was at the World Health Summit in Berlin to co-chair a panel on "Migration and Refugee Health" and moderate the opening press conference on (11 October 2015). That's me in the sort-of middle with the World Health Organisation's Margaret Chan to my right and Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath (who was quite charming) to my left.


Photographer: Steffen Kugler / © World Health Summit. Reproduced here with kind permission.


65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting


Earlier in the year, I appeared at the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. It was a busy blast of a week. First, I presented the opening ceremony in front of 650 young scientists, about 65 Nobel Laureates, Countess Bettina Bernadotte, and the German President Joachim Gauck. Second, I interviewed two very notable scientists: Nobel Laureates Stefan Hell and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. The way the 2015 Mainau Declaration on Climate Change was pre-announced was a little odd, but so it goes. It was held from 28 June to 3 July 2015.


Screenshot © Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings.
Watch the full video here.