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Regulating Innovation: Policy-Making in Reproductive Technology

January 28 @ 18:00 - 19:30

                                                                                                          Regulation is often thought to restrict scientific innovation. Yet the UK has a track record of innovation in the life sciences in general and in assisted reproduction in particular, where regulation is robust and well-established. In this talk, Peter Thompson argues that policy-making in reproductive technologies in the UK is best seen as a ‘bargain’ between science and society, which enhances public trust and creates the conditions that encourages scientific and clinical innovation. Peter Thompson is the Chief Executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. He is a career civil servant who has worked in several government departments, including the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office. Peter Thompson became the Chief Executive of the HFEA, the body responsible for the regulation of assisted reproduction therapies, like IVF, and research involving human embryos, in 2012. Before joining the HFEA he worked as a civil servant for a number of Government departments, including the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office. Among a variety of roles, Peter was responsible for the Government’s policy on the legal recognition of transsexual people, EU justice policy and the Prime Minister’s programme of constitutional renewal. Peter became an external member of the Council of Queen Mary University of London in 2017.


January 28
18:00 - 19:30


Cambridge University Scientific Society


Pfizer Lecture Theatre, Chemistry Department, Cambridge

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