Baroness Mary Warnock

Baroness Mary Warnock (1924-2019) was a Patron of the Progress Educational Trust (PET), and was a Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. Testament to the impact she has had on public policy is the fact that more than three decades after she chaired the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, the UK still abides by its recommendations. This committee's 1984 report, often referred to simply as the Warnock Report, is perhaps the world's most influential analysis of the ethics of assisted conception and embryo research. Baroness Warnock also chaired the Committee of Enquiry into the Education of Handicapped Children and Young People, which in 1978 published the influential report Special Educational Needs. In 2010, The Times newspaper included her in its list of the UK's 'Top 5 Science Ethicists'.

Baroness Warnock was educated at St Swithun's School and at Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford. Her undergraduate career was interrupted by two years of teaching classics during the Second World War, and education has remained her principal interest ever since. She went on to become a Fellow in Philosophy at St Hugh's College in Oxford, Headmistress of Oxford High School, a member of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (now subsumed into Ofcom), Mistress of Girton College at the University of Cambridge, Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, and Patron of the Iris Project. She was author of numerous books, including Making Babies: Is There a Right to Have Children? and Nature and Mortality: Recollections of a Philosopher in Public Life.