Background papers

Published background papers

Up until 2016, we commissioned background papers to help inform our discussions about possible future work topics. These are available to download below. We also held annual ‘Forward Look’ meetings to help us identify and consider future work topics. Notes of the discussions at Forward Look meetings are available here.

We now monitor developments relevant to bioethics all year round, and hold workshops to explore broad developments relevant to the biosciences. We produce Bioethics briefing notes on specific developments, which summarise the research and ethical issues raised.

Forward Look 2016

Forward Look 2015

Forward Look 2014

Forward Look 2013


The Council did not hold a Forward Look meeting in spring 2012 as it was completing its Strategic Review at this time and was already committed to a full work programme for the short term. No background papers were therefore published in 2012.

Forward Look 2011

  • Germline therapies – by Mark S. Frankel, Ph.D., and Bret T. Hagen, M.S. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Washington DC, USA
  • Hyper-expensive treatments – by David Hunter, Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele University and James Wilson, Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre and Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, University College London, UK
  • Genomics, health records, database linkage and privacy – by Ruud H.J. ter Meulen, Ainsley J. Newton, Mari-Rose Kennedy and Behnaz Schofield, Centre for Ethics in Medicine, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK
  • Pandemics – by Giovani De Grandis, University College London and Jasper Littman, University College London/Health Protection Agency, UK

Previous work

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Nuffield Council on Bioethics
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7681 9619

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