13 November 2018

Thursday 24 January 2019, Edinburgh.

With speakers ALASTAIR MacDONALD (the second person, and first male, ever to be born who was conceived via IVF) and his mother GRACE MacDONALD (one of the original fertility patients treated by the pioneers of IVF)

Alongside other speakers including:

  • SALLY CHESHIRE (Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority)
  • PROFESSOR COLIN DUNCAN (Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Science at the University of Edinburgh)
  • DR KAY ELDER (Senior Research Scientist at Bourn Hall Clinic, previously worked with the pioneers of IVF)
  • DR ABHA MAHESHWARI (Clinical Lead in Reproductive Medicine at the Aberdeen Fertility Centre)

Chaired by PROFESSOR ALLAN PACEY (Trustee at the Progress Educational Trust and Professor of Andrology at the University of Sheffield),

See https://www.progress.org.uk/40yearsofivf for details.




13 November 2018

Wednesday 5 December 2018, London.

With 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)

See https://www.progress.org.uk/conference2018 for details including attendance fees and how to book your place.


Confirmed speakers and chairs include:

  • DR KATHY NIAKAN (Group Leader of the Francis Crick Institute‘s Human Embryo and Stem Cell Laboratory, 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)
  • PROFESSOR JOHN HARRIS (Emeritus Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester, and author of books including Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case for Making Better People and How to Be Good: The Possibility of Moral Enhancement)
  • PROFESSOR EMILY JACKSON (Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • DR ANDY GREENFIELD (Programme Leader in Mammalian Sexual Development at MRC Harwell)
  • BARBARA CONNOLLY QC (Barrister at 7 Bedford Row)
  • PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DE GEYTER (Chair of ESHRE‘s European IVF Monitoring Steering Committee)
  • PROFESSOR ELLIE LEE (Director of the University of Kent‘s Centre for Parenting Culture Studies)
  • JAMES LAWFORD DAVIES (Partner at Hempsons)
  • NATALIE GAMBLE (Founder of Natalie Gamble Associates and of Brilliant Beginnings)
  • TIM CHILD (Medical Director of Oxford Fertility)
  • SATU RAUTAKALLIO-HOKKANEN (Chair of Fertility Europe)
  • DR EVAN HARRIS (former MP who scrutinised the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008)
  • ERIKA TRANFIELD (Director of Pride Angel)
  • NATALIE SMITH (Chair of Surrogacy UK‘s Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform)
  • PROFESSOR ROBERT SPACZYNSKI (Vice President of the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians)
  • DR KYLIE BALDWIN (Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Health at De Montfort University)
  • DR ROGER HIGHFIELD (Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group)
  • FIONA FOX (Chair of Trustees at the Progress Educational Trust and Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre)
  • SARAH NORCROSS (Director of the Progress Educational Trust)

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



Call for committee members: NICE Quality Standards Advisory Committee

13 November 2018

Applications due by 5pm on Monday 10 December 2018.

NICE is currently recruiting for standing members to join their Quality Standards Advisory Committee (QSAC) to support delivery of the library quality standards topics. NICE is looking to appoint a number of standing members with the following backgrounds/expertise:

  • Audit and measurement professional. For example professionals involved in audit, measurement and service improvement

  • Primary care professional. For example a general practitioner

  • Secondary care practitioners. For example doctors, nurses, or allied health professionals, in secondary care.

  • Public health practitioners. For example those from local authorities, and PHE regional teams.

  • Commissioners of health, public health and social care services. For example those from clinical commissioning groups or local authorities and those with experience of service redesign to improve quality and outcomes for people with care and support needs.

  • Safety expert. For example people who take a lead in addressing issues of relating to risk and safety, for example risk managers and safeguarding leads

NICE’s quality standards are central to supporting the Government’s vision for a health and social care system focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for people who use services. Derived from NICE guidance and other accredited sources, they are a concise set of prioritised statements designed to drive measurable quality improvements within a particular area of health or care and are becoming the backbone of the new commissioning system for health and social care.

If you have an interest in driving quality improvement in health, public health or social care, experience of working on committees and working groups, and highly developed interpersonal, communication and team working skills, then we would like to hear from you.

You will not be representing your organisation but will bring your expertise, experience and knowledge of current practice. The time commitment is one day a month, for a three year period, and your expenses will be reimbursed (if you are a general practitioner, locum cover will be covered).

Details on how to apply can be found at https://www.nice.org.uk/get-involved/our-committees/join-a-committee/member–quality-standards-advisory-committee and information on NICE quality standards at www.nice.org.uk/standards-and-indicators.

Lecture: Reflections on why I want what I want from research and researchers — as a patient

31 October 2018

Annual Peter Sowerby Lecture

13 November 2018, 19:30-21:00

Theatre 2, New Hunt’s House, KCL Guy’s Campus, King’s College London.

Speaker: Sir Iain Chalmers


A quarter of a century ago, I decided to ask myself what I wanted—as a patient—from health research and researchers. In a BMJ paper I stated that I wanted decisions about my health care to be informed by ‘reliable evidence’. I also noted that people are bound to vary in what they regard as ‘reliable evidence’, and that a leap of faith would anyway always be needed in judging what the effects of health care options would be for me, as an individual. But I also made clear that, for me, ‘reliable evidence’ would usually mean evidence derived from systematic reviews of carefully controlled evaluative research, assembled with an awareness of the ways in which biases and the play of chance can play us false.

I suggested in the paper that there had been too little support for the kind of applied health research that I felt I needed to inform my health care choices. And I gave examples of the damaging consequences that can result from insufficient attention to reducing the effects of biases and the play of chance.

My lecture will revisit the themes I addressed 25 years ago and reflect on why—as a patient—I still want what I wanted from research and researchers quarter of a century ago.

About the Speaker:

Iain Chalmers was founding director of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (www.npeu.ox.ac.uk) between 1978 and 1992, and founding director of the UK Cochrane Centre (www.uk.cochrane.org) between 1992 and 2002. Since 2003, he has coordinated the James Lind Initiative, which developed the James Lind Alliance between 2004 and 2013 (www.jla.nihr.ac.uk). Iain edits The James Lind Library (www.jameslindlibrary.org) and Testing Treatments international English (www.en.testingtreatments.org); he co-organised with Paul Glasziou the 2014 Lancet series on reducing waste and adding value in biomedical research (www.rewardalliance.net); and he is a co-investigator with Andy Oxman and colleagues in Norway and East Africa of the Informed Health Choices Project (www.informedhealthchoices.org).

Further information and registration here.

Seminar: Understanding our ordinary thought and talk about chronic pain

31 October 2018

Philosophy of medicine colloquia at King’s College London.

8 November 2018 at 12:30, Classroom 6, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Campus.

Professor Emma Borg (University of Reading) “Understanding our ordinary thought and talk about chronic pain”.  

Abstract: Pain has a long history of study, from both the philosophical and the scientific perspectives, yet the question of what pain is, and how we conceive of and communicate about it, remains vexed. In this talk, we introduce a new approach to understanding our ordinary thought and talk about (chronic) pain – the so-called ‘polyeidic’ approach – whereby pain thinking is held to involve tacit stances on a number of distinct pain dimensions. We argue briefly that this approach is supported by experimental findings in philosophy and then turn to consider the clinical relevance of the view, suggesting that it provides a better understanding of chronic pain patients and the treatments from which they may benefit.

Please note that any external attendees, i.e. those not currently holding a valid King’s ID card, will need to send their names to Harriet Fagerberg (harriet.fagerberg[at]kcl.ac.uk) prior to the 6th of November, so that she can notify King’s Estate Security.

Further details here.


Fellowships and Scholarships: National Institute for Clinical Excellence

23 September 2018

Applications close 9 November 2018. 

Applications to NICE’s (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) prestigious Fellows and Scholars Programme are open.

Both NICE Fellowships and NICE Scholarships are opportunities for health and social care professionals working across the UK to learn more about NICE.

They offer the chance to get involved in the work NICE does, and they support networking with like-minded advocates of evidence-based practice.


Book Launch: Ethics, Conflict and Medical Treatment for Children

23 September 2018

Thursday 4 October 2018, 5.30 – 6.45pm.

Oxford Martin School, Lecture Theatre, University of Oxford.

Book: Ethics, Conflict and Medical Treatment for Children (Elsevier, 2018)

Abstract: What should happen when doctors and parents disagree about what would be best for a child? When should courts become involved? Should life support be stopped against parents’ wishes? The case of Charlie Gard reached global attention in 2017. It led to widespread debate about the ethics of disagreements between doctors and parents, about the place of the law in such disputes, and about the variation in approach between different parts of the world.

Professors Dominic Wilkinson and Julian Savulescu will present the key themes of their new book which  critically examines the core ethical questions at the heart of disputes about medical treatment for children. They will review prominent cases of disagreement from the UK and internationally and analyse some of the distinctive and challenging features around treatment disputes in the 21st century, and outline a radical new framework for future cases of disagreement around the care of gravely ill people.

There will be an opportunity for group discussion of the general themes.

Speakers:  Professor Dominic Wilkinson is Director of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. He is a consultant in newborn intensive care at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He also holds a health practitioner research fellowship with the Wellcome Trust and is a senior research fellow at Jesus College Oxford.

Professor Julian Savulescu has held the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford since 2002. He has degrees in medicine, neuroscience and bioethics. He directs the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy, and leads a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award on Responsibility and Health Care. He directs the Oxford Martin Programme for Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He co-directs the interdisciplinary Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities in collaboration with Public Health, Psychiatry and History.

Booking: here.

Oxford Talks: here.