Since we launched in March 1999, I have written 207 commentaries for BioNews. But this, the 208th, will be my last. After 10 very happy years at Progress Educational Trust, it's time to move on.
In the first commentary I wrote for BioNews, I promised that 'this commentary section will offer our views and the views of others on a different issue each week. After all, it is controversy and disagreement which often challenge people to become involved in a debate. And in all the excitement, a little bit more science gets learnt.' It has long been our view that science communication is not just about getting facts across, but also about engaging people in debate, sometimes using controversial views to catch attention and to clarify the issues. I know, from your correspondence and from feedback through readers' questionnaires, that many of you have enjoyed the views expressed in this column. Some of you have sent a verbal pat on the back, others have expressed strong disagreement. Many of you have written your own comment pieces for the BioNews website - something that we are keen to encourage. But, after reading BioNews each week, I hope you've all felt informed about new developments and engaged in the debate on their social, ethical and legal implications.
I should say that my departure will change BioNews very little. The BioNews editors, Dr Jess Buxton and Dr Kirsty Horsey, and Progress Educational Trust's new Director, Laura Riley, will continue to produce a weekly offering of timely news, comment and information on assisted reproduction and human genetics. And with your support, BioNews will continue to grow and develop, fulfilling its mission to inform, to engage and to promote debate.