News: British & Irish MSologists are spoilt for choice

The following are two MS-related meetings happening this week. If you had a choice which one would you choose to attend?


About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • The second, but neurologists are too conservative and proud to go and admit their failure so dont worry, you will have attendants.

    How are social media ruining your MS clinic?

    • Re: "How are social media ruining your MS clinic?"

      As you will note this debate is the true tradition of British debating; you are expected to take a contrary position to your current position and win. It is what you call the sport of debating. As I am a sport I will be making a robust argument that social media is ruining my clinic.

  • Both, can't you flit from one to the other? You are debating on the Thursday and the HSCT meeting is the Friday.

    • Unfortunately, not! The rule of the debating society is that you are meant to attend the whole meeting and participate actively. The organisers look down on attendees who cherry-pick days or times to attend. What happens is you tend not to get invited back the next year.

    • Please note the UK & Irish MS Debating Society is quite an exclusive meeting. If you want to get invited back you play by the rules.

  • Second one for sure. It's on HSCT which I would like to know more about and it doesn't seem to be sponsored by Pharma which is a bonus. Although, the social media session in the first one sound interesting!

    • Not sure. The organisers' of the meeting are planning to publish the proceedings of the meeting.

  • The UK & Irish MS Debating Society Meeting is my favourite meeting of the year. It is good fun, we debate serious and not so serious issues and I also come away from the meeting having learnt something new. I also come away from the meeting with a different perspective about a controversial topic.

  • I have never been to a debating scientific meeting. But I have objections to the concept: It sets up an artificially adversarial system, where none is necessary. More disconcerting is that you are taking "a contrary position to your current position." So you're arguing something you don't even believe in? How can you be a rational advocate for a contrary position? Third problem: topics seem to be areas where there is not a lot of data to support either position. So spend the time _doing_ research, rather than _talking_ about it. Lastly, if you win the debate, it doesn't mean that your arguments will stand up scientifically 10 years from now. Mother nature/biology could care less about how skilled a debater you are.

    • The main value of this meeting, I bet ,is bonding and setting up collaborations, having a bit of time to stalk, think and shoot the breeze, and learn a little.

      I suspect all the participants get on pretty well as a consequence and if you want to set up a UK-wide trial, its alot easier if people like each other and are friends.

      As to being adversorial….medics are pretty competitive.

      Do dont alls have to debate an argument you don't believe in, but if we want to debate say that EAE is a model of MS, I would be best placed to argue the alternative point because I know where the holes in the argument lie. The problem is dare you take an alternative position. and win. Many people will not do that?.

      Last year we did a debate between too heavy weights, but the result was rubbish because they were too frightened to debate properly.

      Some people are so scared of losing a debate, they wont do it.

      You can loose the debate and still win, its all about the swing

    • p.s. that is time to talk….Maybe if the meeting was in Scotland and JK Rowling was around then stalk would be appropriate:-)

  • Poor job of scheduling by both parties but the debating society meeting is less important than the stem cell symposium imo.

    • Yes, we are all interested in HSCT. It is one of the options we use to treat MS. Prof. Coles is one of the co-applicants on the HSCT vs. Alemtuzumab trials.

  • I lost my debate. Maybe it was because my heart wasn't in it. It is difficult taking a contrary position to one you actively promote.

    • yes your debate was doomed from the start. To be honest : "social media ruining my ms clinic" is really not much of a debate topic to begin with.

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