The Council organises and takes part in a number of conferences and events to raise awareness of its work and promote debate of the issues considered in its reports.

Launch of Genome editing and human reproduction: social and ethical issues

Monday 23 July 2018

Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5DG
10:30 – 16:30

In September 2016, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics began an in-depth inquiry into the ethical issues raised by genome editing and human reproduction. The findings and recommendations of this inquiry were published on 17 July 2018.

At this conference, members of the Council’s working group and invited speakers discussed the main themes and recommendations of the inquiry, their potential implications, and wider questions about the ethics, science, applications, and governance of human genome editing.



Dave Archard, Chair, Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Overview of the inquiry’s findings and recommendations

Karen Yeung, Chair of the working group and Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow in Law, Ethics and Informatics at the School of Law/School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

Plenary 1: Potential applications of genome editing in human reproduction

Chair: Christine Watson, Professor of Cell and Cancer Biology, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge


  • Helen O’Neill, Lecturer in Reproductive and Molecular Genetics MSc Programme Director of Reproductive Science and Women’s Health, University College London

Plenary 2: Ethical considerations

Chair: Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics, Queen Mary University of London


  • Jackie Leach Scully, Professor of Social Ethics & Bioethics, PEALS (Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences) Research Centre, Newcastle University
  • Charis Thompson, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Peter Dabrock, Chair of Systematic Theology II (Ethics) at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität

Parallel session 1: The role of societal debate on genome editing in shaping governance

Chair: Joyce Harper, Head of Research Department of Reproductive Health, IfWH Director of Education, Head of the Embryology, IVF and Reproductive Genetics Group, UCL


  • Julian Hitchcock, Partner, Marriott Harrison LLP
  • Jack Stilgoe, Senior Lecturer in Social Studies of Science, UCL
  • Simon Burall,Senior Associate, Involve

Parallel session 2: International perspectives

Chair: Hugh Whittall, Director, Nuffield Council on Bioethics


  • Rumiana Yotova, Lecturer and Director of Studies in Law, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge
  • Hub Zwart, Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Institute for Science in Society, Radbound University
  • Siobhán O’Sullivan, Deputy Chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), and Lecturer in Health and Law, Royal College of Surgeons
  • Ingo Haeartel, Council of Europe, Rapporteur on Genoetics and Genomics to the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO)

Discussion panel with members of the working group

Biographies of the working group


Speaker requests

Are you looking for a speaker for your event?

Members of the Council, Working Parties and Secretariat are available to speak at conferences, seminars or events on a range of bioethics topics. Contact us on to find out more.

Public lectures

The Council holds occasional public lectures, where a guest speaker is invited to give a perspective on a bioethics issue of their choice. Our public lectures are free to attend and open to anyone. Find out about our previous public lectures, recordings are available for most of our recent events.

Videos of recent public lectures on YouTube:

Audio recordings of recent public lectures on SoundCloud:

Previous work

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28 Bedford Square
London, WC1B 3JS

Tel: +44 (0)20 7681 9619

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