Future work

What’s on the horizon?

The Council has a thorough, ongoing process for selecting new topics which is overseen by its Future Work Subgroup. As part of its future work programme, the Council maintains an ongoing list of possible future work topics, and produces a set of short topic summaries.

The current set was published in November 2016, and considers the following topics:

You can also view a list of other topics that were suggested and have been considered by the Council. Our list of possible future topics is reviewed each year in light of new developments (archive available).

If you would like to suggest a topic for us to consider as part of our future work list, we would like to hear from you.

What happens next?

The Future Work subgroup meets annually to discuss the list of possible future work topics and draws up a shortlist of topics for the Council to investigate further. For a topic to be selected for future work, it must come within the Council’s terms of reference, and should therefore fit the topic selection criteria.

Background papers, setting out the key ethical issues and exploring how the Council could make a distinctive contribution, are then prepared the help inform the Council’s discussions.

Shortlisted topics are discussed at the Council’s annual Forward Look meeting where external experts are invited to give short presentations on future topics, focussing on how the Council might best contribute to the debate. Alternatively, the Council may hold a workshop to provide a more in-depth and timely discussion of a particular topic. Notes of the discussions held at these meetings are published.

There may be other topics, or other opportunities for collaboration which will arise outside of this cycle. These will be considered promptly either by the Council at its next meeting, or by the Future Work subgroup.

Initiating a new project

Depending on the nature of the topic, the Council will decide the format that the project should take. The Council’s process for topic selection includes explicit consideration of not only the subject to be addressed, but also the mode of working, timescale, and the type of outputs that may be appropriate in each case.

Find out how we initiate a new project, the different types of activities recent projects have involved and what happens if we decide not to pursue a topic.

Find out more about the Council’s current work.

Have your say

If you would like to suggest a topic for us to consider as part of our future work list, we would like to hear from you.

Previous work

Contact us

Nuffield Council on Bioethics
28 Bedford Square


+44 (0)20 7681 9619

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