The Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public at the University of Cambridge bring science conversations to the citizen. Professor Anna Middleton, Dr. Richard Milne and Dr. Catherine Galloway talk to Lisa about their mission.
Science is happening all the time and we can be part of that conversation. Ultimately it will affect our lives. Genetic editing, AI, Big Data... these are some of the topics which the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public aims to debate globally.
In September 2022, the centre's director, Professor Anna Middleton who herself is a genetic counsellor, convened the first ever Citizen's Jury in the UK on human genome editing, asking 21 people with 'rare' inherited conditions (one in 12 of us carries such 'rare' genes) in their families to consider whether a UK government should ever consider changing the law and allow certain serious conditions to be 'edited out' of a person's family tree. The policy recommendations from that jury will be published later this month.
Dr. Richard Milne, is taking the conversation global; trying to understand how different cultures, languages, populations deal with the same question. He aims to connect scientists and the consequences of their work with the public.
Dr. Catherine Galloway, a journalist and writer, focuses on the creative translation of this work and innovating the message delivery. For instance, Catherine set up the Hopes and Fears Lab where scientists met 'real people' in a cardboard lab to chat about their work with emotions!
In this discussion, we delve into what happened at the four day jury debate on the ethics around genome editing, the importance of words in our legislation, and how one quickly spirals into philosophical debate, as all of these discussions hinge on so many 'What if....' questions (Catherine's favourite question).
The science is pushing boundaries every day - that's the nature of research. Is our general discussion keeping pace? What is our responsibility to take part in these discussions? For instance, we may not even know if we carry a rare genetic disorder, but if we did, would we want to pass it onto our children?
Will our children be able to genetically modify their children? The answer is probably yes. More pressingly, do you want to be part of that debate?
Listen to the show here:
Watch the show here:
Get in touch!
Please do subscribe to the podcast, rate and review on Apple and Spotify!
I'd love to know what shows you want more of, and what ideas or guests you enjoy so that I can tailor my show to suit your requests.