The politics of genetic modification, Canadian drug assessments and how Beijing’s weaknesses impact China are among the timely and controversial topics set to be discussed as part of an ongoing speaker series.Hosted by Brock’s Department of Political Science, the series resumes for the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 29 with a presentation by Kalina Kamenova, founder and Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Genomics and Society. Kamenova will speak about efforts underway to deploy genetically modified mosquitoes to eradicate malaria in Africa, as well as the opposing push for a global moratorium on gene drive research and its applications.She will examine the dynamics of group politics in this scientific controversy.The series continues on Monday, Feb. 11 with a talk focused on public drug plans in Canada. Katherine Boothe, Associate Professor of Political Science at McMaster University, will look at the recent inclusion of patients and members of the public on advisory committees responsible for reviewing clinical and economic evidence about new drugs, and making recommendations about reimbursement. She will explore how these changes are viewed by the committees’ technical experts.The series wraps up on March 4 with a talk from author, TV commentator, speaker and internationally renowned expert Gordon Chang. “Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China, believes that China, more than any other country, will drive events in the coming decades,” explains Charles Burton, Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Political Science, who is also an expert on China.According to Chang, Chinese ruler Xi Jinping’s “breathtaking ambition” has been raising eyebrows around the globe. He cautions that China’s domination of our era could spell big trouble.Burton feels it is particularly exciting for Brock to welcome “one of America’s most well-known China analysts” at this important time when “Canada is in Beijing’s crosshairs.”“Many say no one better understands Beijing’s internal weaknesses than Chang,” says Burton. “And no one has talked more than he has about how these weaknesses are driving China’s dangerous behaviours.”The Department of Political Science Speaker Series runs monthly throughout the academic year. Talks are free. All are welcome. More information is available on the Political Science website.Details of upcoming speakers:Tuesday, Jan. 29 from 1 to 2 p.m. in PL601C: “Group Politics and Stakeholder Engagement with Gene Drive Technology” by Kalina Kamenova, founder and Research Director of the Canadian Institute for Genomics and Society. More information is available here.Monday, Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. to noon in PL600F: “(Re)defining legitimacy? Expertise and public and patient involvement in Canadian drug assessment” by Katherine Boothe, Associate Professor of Political Science at McMaster University. More information is available here.Monday, March 4 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Cairns Complex Scotiabank Atrium: “China, China, China” by Gordon Chang, renowned author, speaker, television commentator and international expert. More information is available here.