24 Oct 2012: UK v India International Final 2012
India beats UK to go 3-1 up in the Debating Matters International series at the Battle of Ideas Festival
The team from India, who argued that clinical trials in developing countries are not exploitative, beat Aaron Stead and Georgia Haigh from Graveney School, London with a spirited performance. Georgia and Aaron, part of the UK 2012 National Champions team said that despite losing they had a great time and were enjoying the rest of the Battle of Ideas Festival held at the Barbican.
The Indian team from Kolkata flew in to take on their UK opponents and are now spending a few days in the UK after their debate, visiting Canterbury, sightseeing around London and buying souvenirs from Trafalgar Square.
Debater Payaswini Taylor, speaking for the whole Kolkata team, said:
‘The standard of debate at the International Final was very high and the Graveney team were worthy opponents. What we all really like about Debating Matters and the Battle of Ideas Festival is the amount of audience participation – other competitions could learn a lot from this format’.
The distinguised panel of judges for the International Final were Sangeeta Bahadur, Minister for Culture at the High Commission of India and Director of the Nehru Centre in Mayfair, London. Diana Gibb, professor of epidemiology and programme leader of the Paediatric Programme at the Medical Research Council’s Clinical Trials unit. They were joined by Rob Killick, a long-standing Debating Matters judge and co-founder and CEO of cScape, the London-based digital strategy consultancy.
Sangeeta Bahadur, Minister for Culture at the High Commission of India and Director of the Nehru Centre, taking after the event said:
‘The ethical angle involved in the topic chosen for the debate, and the impact it has on global health issues, tends to evoke strong reactions from proponents and opponents alike. The young people debating the matter brought the same passion and conviction to their arguments, skilfully using the available data, facts and case-studies to reinforce the points they made in their presentations as well as in their responses to questions. While both teams were well-informed and quick on the uptake, Our Lady Queen of the Mission gained an edge over the other team by maintaining their focus, coherence, subtlety of argument and a better understanding of the evolving global reality. The debate was an energising and thought-provoking interlude for all of us.’
Professor Diana Gibb, Medical Research Council, said of the winning team’s performance:
‘The Indian team, who argued against the motion, had the edge, responding particularly well to questions about informed consent for illiterate poor people in india by reminding the audience that consent processes for trials can and frequently are made culturally appropriate through community involvement and sensitisation and use of aids such as ‘the talking book’ and not only by use of long written information sheets used in the literate north’.
Debating Matters director, Tony Gilland, said:
‘Both teams gave an impressive performance, the atmosphere was superb and the audience very engaged in the debate. I am very pleased we have been able to run these International Finals for four years now. It’s great to see young people from both countries challenging one another and learning about how to engage with issues from a more global perspective’.