Box Office Bioethics: less pizzazz than the Oscars but plenty of hot potatoes

Today, as people from across the film industry sleep off their celebration or disappointment following the 85th Academy Awards, we have begun the final week of excitedly rummaging through the morning post for submissions from a new breed of hopeful film makers. This Thursday, 28 February, is the closing date for Box Office Bioethics, the Council’s own student film competition – find out how to enter.

How far should society go in meeting the demand for organ and tissue donation? Are current biofuels doing more harm than good? Should police be able to store a person’s fingerprints and DNA profile taken for a criminal investigation even if they are found to be innocent? Is animal research morally acceptable? In our work on bioethics education, we have found that questions like this can be as interesting and relevant to young people as to academics or policy makers. With Box Office Bioethics, we aim to get students making short films about contemporary bioethics issues, challenging them to engage with tough ethical questions and current debates in a creative way.

Ready to scrutinise the films we have our very own ‘Academy’ – a supporting cast of Council  members and guest judges representing a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise including bioethics, science journalism, film making, digital media and education.

While we can’t promise a red carpet, the winning films will be screened and the winners given their awards with as much razzle-dazzle as we can muster during our annual public lecture in May. We will announce the date for this shortly so keep an eye on our website or sign up for our e-news to make sure you don’t miss out!


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