What should a learned society be doing?

This was the title of a debate that was held recently by the British Computer Society. The first topic that was discussed was software development in comparison  to building a house. The presentation was given by Clive Freedman, a barrister with 3 Verulam Buildings. In his presentation he talked about how the building trade have measures to deal with problems arising. The same measures could be implemented into the IT industry. The second presentation was given by Trevor Cook from Bird & Bird. He chose to talk about software patents. While it was agreed that there should be some software patents. Some felt certain that there was an over use of the patents system. The full article can be read here.