The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is currently reviewing the law on fertility treatment regulation and embryo. At the same time new advances in embryo models have been making headlines in recent months. Next week the Wellcome-funded Human Developmental Biology Initiative will publishing the first thorough public engagement dialogue to understand public attitudes towards embryo research in the UK. Focussing on the controversial issues around extending the 14-day rule and the regulation of these new embryo-like stem cell models, the findings will provide policy makers, regulators and the science community with valuable insights into public attitudes on these remarkable but ethically fraught scientific advances.
The SMC have invited the engagement professionals to brief journalists on the findings and describe what this means for human developmental biology research. Also on the panel are the scientific leads for the project who can answer any questions about the rapidly evolving science around 14 day rule and embryo research in general. This briefing has a news line but it’s also a backgrounder on many of the issues we will be discussing as a society in coming years.
Dr Peter Rugg-Grun, scientific lead for the HDBI, senior group leader and Head of Public Engagement at the Babraham Institute
Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, HDBI Oversight group co-chair, senior group leader and head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics at the Francis Crick Institute
Henrietta Hopkins, Director of Hopkins Van Mil
Dr Michael Norman, HDBI Public Dialogue coordinator and Public Engagement Manager at the Babraham Institute