Behind the scenes: meet our interns

In this post we asked our two most recent interns, Alex and Haniah, to reflect on their experiences working with us over the summer.



What were you working on during your internship?

I was tasked with designing and implementing a biological and health data workshop concerning the application of genomic information and impact of next generation sequencing technologies in society. Over the weeks I produced a background literature report highlighting substantive issues for discussion with the working party. I also liaised with leading scientists in bioethics and law, and collated ideas into a tangible briefing document, through which a remit of the workshop was presented.

Further meetings and re-edits saw ideas and theories blossom into a detailed workshop itinerary consisting of internationally renowned speakers and attendees, all of who will help contribute to the Council’s understanding of next generation genomic technologies for the  biological and health data project.

What will you take away from this experience?

I have learned much about genomics and the ethics of applied bioinformatics, both fascinating and valuable subjects for my future career as a clinician.  It is not only new subjects that I can take with me, as working here has enhanced my management and editorial skills which I can now apply to my current role as Faculty President at the University of Southampton.

How would you sum up working with us this summer?

Working at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has been an enlightening insight into the practical side of bioethics, where scientific thought finds its societal application.



What interested you about this internship?

I chose to apply for this internship because of my keen interest in bioethics and medical law, fostered during my undergraduate studies in biosciences and medicine. The Nuffield Council has an unparalleled reputation in this area; I was particularly interested in their synthesis of bioethics and policy development in issues that are very hotly topical.

What were you working on during your internship?

One of my main roles was to update the list of topics that are considered by the Council. This involved researching policy developments and recent reports relating to a number of bioethical issues including health tourism, human enhancement, psychiatric ethics, the genetic modification of animals, innovative therapies and many more. I also had the opportunity to carry out my own research and write short reports about new potential topics such as wearable technology, the science of compassion and the artistic use of human body parts, amongst others.

What will you take away from this experience?

This research improved and deepened my understanding of a catalogue of bioethical issues. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to write about the ethical dimensions of these topics alongside policy considerations. As well as this, the internship gave me a good understanding of the thought-provoking and important work the Nuffield Council does and helped inform my desire to work within this field in the future.

How would you sum up working with us this summer?

Overall, the internship was a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend!



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