Of course, I fall in the last category. It is incredible that this conference is taking place in Egypt. I don't know what will be the reaction here. Simply by its location, it may remove some of the stigma regarding evolution in the Muslim world, or it may end up generating a backlash. Frankly, I have no idea about the reaction.
Cutting Edge Evolutionary Science
Current research focusing on: Genetics; Genomics; Speciation; Origin of Adaptation; Epigenetics; Evolutionary Microbiology; Molecular Biology; Evolutionary Ecology; Biodiversity.
Applications of Evolutionary Science
Agriculture and Plant Sciences; Biomedicine; Engineering; Anthropology; Economic development.
Social and Cultural Impacts of Darwinism and Evolution
Historical debates; Reception of Darwinism across cultures; Evolution and Education; Evolution and Ethics; Science, Religion and Society.
I'm scheduled to be on the opening panel on Evolution and Faith in the 21st century, and I'm very excited that I will be sharing the stage with John Hedley Brooke and Eugenie Scott! The chair of the panel is BBC's Bridget Kendall and other panelists include Nidhal Guessoum and Samy Zalat (I briefly met Bridget at dinner and have never met Nidhal and Samy). A portion of the panel will broadcast on BBC (radio) on November 22nd.
On Saturday evening there is an interesting open forum organized by BBC Arabic. Here is the description:
This will be aired as a BBC Arabic's Open Agenda programme. This special episode, will discuss the freedom of knowledge and scientific research in the Arabic world on 14 November during the British Councils Darwin's Living Legacy conference at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The panel will include two speakers from the conference Prof. Nidal Guessoum and Prof. Ramez Maluf.I will be in the audience (they will have live english translation) - and again, I have no idea what to expect here. But it is fantastic that this sort of debate is taking place on BBC Arabic. Will report on that later.
Issues to be debated will include: How much the Arabic society will accept the freedom of knowledge? What is allowable and what is not? What is the limit of the science research in our society? Is there any struggle between the freedom of knowledge and the restrictions of religion?
The Open Agenda programme will discuss also the degree of development and participation in scientific research in Arab countries.
Also - I will be going to a panel on evolution and education. Eugenie Scott is chairing the session and the panel includes Reverend Michael Reiss, Jason Wiles (go Jason!), Touria Benazzou, and Amy Sanders (I just met her on the shuttle from Cairo to Alexandria - the shuttle that took almost 4 hours to get to our respective hotels!). So stay tuned - if there is wireless at the conference (hey - there better be - its the Bibliotheca!), I will try to send updates.