Rational Parliament
Illustration by David Lee

Ever dreamed about being an MP? Or love to participate in rational debate? Now’s your chance at a unique new experimental debate forum, The Rational Parliament.

The inaugural session takes place on 10 September, at Conway Hall, the home of free-thinking in central London. And it’s free (but it’s vital to register and space is extremely limited).

The Rational Parliament is an experimental debating society open to all. Each session will cover one currently hot topic connected to live policy debates in Westminster or public. Everyone attending a sitting is a Member of the Rational Parliament (MRP) and therefore has equal rights to speak, propose motions or question other Members. Every session will open with at least two researchers who have published scientific findings on the chosen topic. A debate will then take place. Other MRPs may request Members claiming evidence to provide this evidence. Eventually, ballots are called and votes cast. After each sitting, the House produces a document summarising the debate, and draws parallels or divergence from related debates in Westminster.

The topic of the first debate will be genetically modified food, with the motion: “This House agrees that genetic modification is a rational approach to meeting food demand.” Whether you are convinced that genetic modification is the solution to global food shortages, or convinced that the threat to our ecosystem is too great, or you don’t have a clue where you stand, come get involved in the debate that actually cares about the evidence. Hear published scientists provide the evidence, listen to activists from both sides, and register your vote at our unique shadow parliament. The Speaker of the House for the inaugural debate is the science writer Michael Brooks.

So, come along to the historic first-ever sitting of the Rational Parliament to debate GM. This pilot sitting is absolutely free of charge, but make sure to reserve your place as one of the 100 pioneering MRPs. You can also debate via Twitter @RatParl or Facebook.