Conference: Make Do or Amend – Should We Update UK Fertility & Embryo Law?

28 October 2018

MAKE DO OR AMEND: SHOULD WE UPDATE UK FERTILITY AND EMBRYO LAW?‘ is a one-day conference taking place in London on Wednesday 5 December 2018 (9.30am5.30pm).  

The conference will explore law and regulation governing fertility treatment and embryo research. There will be Keynote Addresses by SIR JAMES MUNBY (former President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales) and SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority).

Other confirmed speakers and chairs include DR ROY FARQUHARSON (Chair of ESHRE), DR KATHY NIAKAN (Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute and the first researcher licensed by the UK regulator to edit the genomes of human embryos), BARONESS RUTH DEECH (Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords), DR ANDY GREENFIELD (Programme Leader at MRC Harwell), EMILY JACKSON (Professor of Law at the LSE), BARBARA CONNOLLY QC (Barrister), PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DE GEYTER (Chair of ESHRE‘s European IVF Monitoring Steering Committee), PROFESSOR ELLIE LEE (Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies), NATALIE GAMBLE (Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and Brilliant Beginnings), JAMES LAWFORD DAVIES (Partner at Hempsons), SATU RAUTAKALLIO-HOKKANEN (Chair of Fertility Europe), ERIKA TRANFIELD (Director of Pride Angel), DR ROGER HIGHFIELD (Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group), DR KYLIE BALDWIN (Senior Lecturer at De Montfort University), PROFESSOR ROBERT SPACZYNSKI (Vice President of the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians), FIONA FOX (Chair of Trustees at PET [Progress Educational Trust] and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre), and SARAH NORCROSS (Director of PET).

The conference is supported by the Anne McLaren Memorial Trust Fund, the Edwards and Steptoe Research Trust Fund and ESHRE (silver sponsors), and by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, the European Sperm Bank, JMW Solicitors, the London Women’s Clinic and Vitrolife (bronze sponsors).

Further details of the conference, including the agenda and how to book your place, can be found at http://www.progress.org.uk/conference2018 – if you have any queries, please email sstarr [at] progress.org.uk

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Job: Scientific Policy Manager at the HFEA

8 October 2018

Contract type: Permanent full time

Salary: £36,000

Closing date: 14/10/2018

The Scientific Policy Manager is the main (internal) source of scientific Policy advice and briefing. They work with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the HFEA’s scientific policies focus on improving quality of treatment and research, communicating these effectively, via briefings, articles, and speech-writing.

The post-holder manages the Scientific Advances Advisory Committee (SCAAC) and leads the Policy team’s scientific and clinical horizon scanning policy function, programming an annual international horizon-scanning panel meeting. They represent the HFEA at conferences and external working groups, presenting as required. The post also supports the Policy team, replying to public enquiries and drafting answers to relevant Parliamentary Questions. The Scientific Policy Manager is supported in their role by their line report, the Scientific Policy Officer.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone with a degree or equivalent in a scientific or clinical subject, and knowledge or academic experience in a biological or clinical science. You’ll have experience or involvement in policy work (ideally in a regulatory context), initiating and managing projects and good analytical skills. You’ll be able to understand complicated legal, ethical and scientific issues around assisted reproductive technologies and engage confidently with professional groups. Ideally, you’ll have experience of producing evidence-based guidance and working closely with senior staff and committees.

This is a unique opportunity to play a key role in the Policy team. You will have the chance to make a real and tangible difference to our work and the lives of patients. For more information about the work we do, please visit the HFEA website.


Radio: The Changing Face of Procreation

26 September 2018

BBC World Service, available via the iPlayer

Anyone with enough money, be they female, male, gay, straight, single or in a relationship now has the opportunity to try for a baby of their own. By the end of the century, an estimated 157 million people alive or 1.4 % of the world’s population will owe their lives to assisted reproductive technologies like IVF, donor eggs and sperm and surrogacy.

So how are people around the world using these innovations? And how well is society doing in getting to grips with the ethical questions that go hand in hand with the creation of life of in these ways.

The New World Of Reproduction

In part one, Krupa Padhy examines where we have got to after 40 years of IVF. In England, she visits a family made up of white British parents and their three boys, plus a ‘snow baby’: created during an IVF cycle for her Indian-American genetic parents, but adopted as an embryo by her birth family. She hears from ethicists and law makers from around the world about how countries have struggled to adapt to new technological realities, and discovers stories that challenge ideas of what IVF is for, like that of an Indian woman who used her dead son’s sperm to create grandchildren.

Assisted Reproduction

How humans make babies could be about to change, thanks to advances in IVF and reproductive technology. Krupa Padhy meets the new kinds of families that could become the norm, and explores how reproductive technology may soon alter the way all of us make babies.


Conference: The Development of Abortion Rights in a Changing Europe

26 September 2018

Date: Friday 28 September 2018, 09:00 – 18:00

Location: Faculty of Law, University Of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DZ

This conference will explore what human rights law has to say on the issue of abortion in 2018.


Event: WITH GREAT GENOMIC DATA COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

25 June 2018

6.30pm8.30pm on 26 June 2018

This event will explore questions raised by Big Data, the 100,000 Genomes Project and the new national NHS Genomic Medicine Service. The event is produced by Progress Educational Trust in partnership with Genomics England, as part of the Genomics Conversation.

The discussion will be chaired by TIMANDRA HARKNESS (author of the book Big Data: Does Size Matter?), with speakers including PROFESSOR ANN DALTON (Sheffield Children’s Hospital), PROFESSOR ANTHONY BROOKES (University of Leicester), PROFESSOR TIM HUBBARD (Genomics England) and DR NATALIE BANNER (Understanding Patient Data).

This event is taking place at University College London‘s Institute of Child Health. Email sstarr [at] progress.org.uk to book your FREE place(s).


Job: Research Fellowship (Socio-Legal) in the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, The University of Edinburgh

18 June 2018

The Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society is seeking an experienced researcher in the field of socio-legal studies to contribute to scholarly and engagement activities within this cross-College, cross-School initiative. The Centre, supported by the Wellcome Trust, seeks to effect lasting change in how we understand and influence the dynamic relationship between biomedicine, individuals and society.

Working closely with the Centre’s Executive Team, the successful candidate will develop and undertake an empirical socio-legal research project concerned with the legal consciousness of stakeholders in a health research context, such as in the realm of reproductive medicine, data sharing or clinical trials. You will also contribute to cross-cutting projects involving other members of the Centre.

The work demands close attention to detail, the ability to prioritise, identify and achieve deadlines and use good judgement and initiative. A positive collaborative attitude is also essential.

The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in research, supported by a track record of strong relevant publications. In addition, applicants are invited to explore how their research interests complement the existing strengths of the Executive Team and their respective Schools.

The post is available from 1st September 2018, full-time and fixed-term for 24 months.

Please include your CV and a supporting statement with details of how you meet the knowledge, skills and experience required for this post.

Informal enquiries may be directed to Professor Graeme Laurie (Graeme.Laurie [at] ed.ac.uk).


Conference: The Abortion Act: A Promise Fulfilled?

13 July 2017

24 October 2017 – 25 October 2017
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Pl, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RG

Tickets and information

The passing of the 1967 Abortion Act was a landmark moment for our reproductive rights, achieved at the vanguard of a wave of liberalising change across the western world, and directly inspiring reform in a number of other countries.

But fifty years later, how well does the Act serve women today?

In the week of the Act’s fiftieth anniversary, this two-day conference will examine its impact, its shortcomings, and the extent to which its liberal proponents’ hopes have been realised.  Contributors including leading health care professionals, academics, policymakers, politicians, campaigners and service providers will address a range of important socio-legal, historical, political and clinical practice-based questions.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Universities of Bristol, Kent, and Leeds, and bpas, with generous funding from Wellcome.  It will be hosted by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.