Education is central to the objectives and activities of the Progress Educational Trust (PET). The beneficiaries of the charity's educational activities include students and academics ranging from secondary school level to postdoctoral researchers and practitioners, as well as members of the lay public.
Education forms a key aspect of PET's public events, print publications and flagship publication BioNews, each of which is aimed at improving public and professional understanding of genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas. Substantial time is dedicated to audience questions and comments at each of PET's public events, allowing attendees to request information and clarification from panellists and other experts. BioNews incorporates a Glossary of key terms for lay and younger readers, with glossary definitions appearing both as hover boxes for uninterrupted reading, and hyperlinks that take you to the glossary.
Since PET was founded in 1992, many of its initiatives have involved schools. Since 1996 it has maintained a close relationship with Jeans for Genes, a UK campaign to raise funds for the charity Genetic Disorders UK, with PET compiling school resource packs and contributing to educational material. PET has also created its own school resource pack as part of its project Spectrum of Opinion: Genes, Autism and Psychological Spectrum Disorders. After piloting use of the pack in Robert Napier School in Gillingham, PET has made the pack freely available for anyone to read and use, both as a .pdf document (605KB) and in an online version.
PET aspires to identify and train the next generation of science writers. This is achieved through through the charity's internship scheme, which trains PhD students in the art of science and news writing, and through the broader pool of volunteer writers who contribute to BioNews.
In addition to PET's own events and initiatives, PET and its staff also perform educational and outreach work through involvement in the events and initiatives of other organisations. For example, in recent years:
A brochure about PET and its activities can be downloaded here (.pdf 329KB).