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Designer Athletes: fair play or foul?

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  • UserSteve Ingham, Head of Physiology at the English Institute of Sport; Steve Haake, director of the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University.
  • ClockTuesday 20 March 2012, 20:00-21:30
  • HouseMill Lane Room 3.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Andrew N Holding.

Imagine the sporting champions of the future: humans so enhanced by pharmaceuticals and prosthetics that they smash the world records we consider impressive today.

It sounds far-fetched, but developments in science and technology mean it could become a reality. This event explores the research that is taking place now that could produce the “designer athletes” of tomorrow. We will offer a glimpse of the future and ask: should our sporting champions rely on their natural ability, or be allowed to embrace pharmacological and technological enhancements?

We will also explore the fine line between “doping” and natural enhancement through training that exists today. We are already seeing athletes living and training at altitude to increase how much oxygen their blood can carry, so should the drug that mimics this effect – EPO - still be banned in professional sports? Where do we draw the line?

The Physiological Society invites you to discuss these controversial questions and the science behind them with Steve Ingham, Head of Physiology at the English Institute of Sport; Steve Haake, director of the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University; and other panellists from the world of sports. Tell us what shape you think our future sporting champions should be in.

This talk is part of the Skeptics in the Pub series.

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