This week at the Progress Educational Trust (2 December 2016)
The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is finalising the agenda for its conference 'Rethinking the Ethics of Embryo Research: Genome Editing, 14 Days and Beyond', taking place in London on Wednesday 7 December.
The conference will see some of the most prominent and pioneering figures in science, medicine, policy and ethics tackling some of the most far-reaching developments in embryo research and genome editing. Conference presentations will include:
Also speaking at the conference is Professor Sir Ian Wilmut (creator of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal ever cloned from an adult cell) who was recently interviewed for the BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific. You can listen to that interview here.
Conference sponsors include Merck (which recently won an award for developing a genome editing tool), the Anne McLaren Memorial Trust Fund, the London Women's Clinic, the Medical Research Council and Caribou Biosciences.
Click here for full details of the 7 December conference, including the agenda and how to book your tickets. The Institute of Medical Ethics has provided funding for eight medical students to attend the conference free of charge - to apply for one of these places, email
In other news, PET has been busy speaking, chairing and exhibiting at the annual Fertility Show at Olympia London, which is attended by thousands of members of the public seeking fertility-related information and advice.
Two PET Trustees gave seminars at this event. John Parsons (pictured here at PET's exhibition stand) gave a seminar entitled 'How to Keep Costs Down - Do You Really Need Those Add-Ons?', and was interviewed by the Daily Mail about the themes of this seminar for an article entitled 'The Great IVF Rip-Off'. Meanwhile Professor Allan Pacey gave two seminars, both entitled 'What Men Need to Know about Their Fertility - Testing It, Boosting It, Treating It', and also participated in two panel discussions.
PET Director Sarah Norcross chaired a seminar entitled 'New Technologies in IVF', which sifted through some of the claims made for novel fertility treatments. And other speakers at the Fertility Show included two of the experts who will be speaking at PET's 7 December conference - Dr Simon Fishel (one of the first researchers to demonstrate that embryos are capable of responding to their environment), and Professor Sarah Franklin (Director of the University of Cambridge's Reproductive Sociology Research Group).
Visitors to PET's busy exhibition stand subscribed to the charity's flagship publication BioNews, which provides accurate, balanced and timely news and comment on fertility, genetics and embryo/stem cell research and related areas - you too can subscribe to BioNews for free, here. Visitors were also given small sachets of salt adorned with the charity's name, as a reminder that advice offered and claims made about fertility - at the Fertility Show and elsewhere - should often be taken with a healthy pinch of salt.