2014-2019: Celebrating 5 years of the Bioethics & Society programme

2019 marks the 5th year of the Bioethics & Society programme at King’s College London.

To celebrate the 5 year of the programme we are running a series of events, including a “Bioethics & Society alumni series” where we feature the career trajectories of our amazing alumni. Our students come from all over the world and bring to King’s a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. They really make the programme and have been shaping it over the past few years.

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-18 at 16.16.56.jpeg

The amazing first cohort of the Bioethics & Society programme at King’s College London, 2014/15

I had to privilege to work on this unique programme (the only bioethics programme in the UK based in a faculty of social sciences and public policy, and combining training in social sciences qualitative and quantitative methods and a critical philosophical approach to ethics) from the very beginning, with Ilina Singh and Annette Rid. Both colleagues have since left King’s (Ilina Singh is Professor of Neuroscience and Society at the University of Oxford, while Annette Rid is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, and Professor of Philosophy Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University) and I am now working with another wonderful colleague, Dr Gry Wester.

It has been a privilege to direct the programme over the past few years and to teach amazing people and I look forward to continuing doing so and helping the programme grow to the next level over the next 5!

Here are some of our alumni’s testimonials:

James Aluri, class of 2016.

Andrew Barnhart, class of 2016:

 

 

Paige Fitzsimmons, class of 2017:

 

 

Lienkie Diedericks, class of 2019.

Melissa W. Gaule, class of 2018.

Richard Gibson, class of 2016.

Louisa Howard, class of 2018.

Gemma McKenzie 2019

Gemma McKenzie, class of 2017

Gemma McKenzie, class of 2017, featured April 19th, 2019.

Alex Meyer, class of 2016.

 

If  you are a B&S alumni and would like to participate in the series, please do get in touch with me – I  would love to hear from you!

Bioethics of Genome Editing – Education Session at ASGCT’s 21st Annual Meeting

A recording of my talk (and introduction to the bioethics of genome editing) at the Education Session from the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy’s 21st Annual Meeting (Chicago May 16, 2018) is now available thanks to ASGCT.

New paper out for Ethics & Politics: “CRISPR Pigs, Pigoons and the Future of Organ Transplantation”

This paper has been published for a special issue titled “From Genome Editing to New Reproductive Technologies: Ethical and Social Issues” of the journal Ethics & Politics, XX, 2018, 3, pp 35-52. ISSN: 1825-5167 guest-edited by Dr Maurizio Balistreri.

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses the possible biofuture imagined by George Church, in which we are able to grow humanized organs in pigs and edit them with CRISPR genome editing technologies so that they are free of porcine endogenous retroviruses that pose a risk for human transplant, and juxtaposes it with the biofuture imagined by Margaret Atwood in her 2003 novel Oryx and Crake. I adopt Ari Shick’s critique of speculative bioethics to show how an over-emphasis on the urgency of the experiments may overshadow other non-medical solutions to the problem of shortage of organs for transplantation. In the end, I draw some reflections on the role that science fiction and speculative fiction play in the construction of biofutures for bioethics.

The full paper can be accessed here.