Repository logo
 

Exploring the challenges and opportunities of public engagement with fundamental biology.

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

No Thumbnail Available

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Clements-Brod, Naomi 
Holmes, Leah 

Abstract

The Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI) is a Wellcome-funded research consortium involving scientists based in institutions across the UK and Europe. It aims to pioneer new technologies and techniques to answer fundamental questions about human development and could, therefore, eventually improve treatments for fertility, birth defects and developmental diseases, as well as aiding regenerative medicine. HDBI research relies on human fetal and embryonic tissues donated following pregnancy terminations or fertility treatment. The situations in which these tissues are donated, their use in research and the potential healthcare impacts of this work all present complex ethical and moral questions that are of interest not only to scientists but also to the public. As such, HDBI's public engagement programme 'What makes us human?' aspires to test new ways of engaging the public with fundamental biology. In this brief Perspective, we provide an overview of this public engagement approach, exploring its challenges and opportunities, and outline our longer-term plans. We hope that by sharing our experiences we will encourage and enable others to organise similarly experimental public engagement, even if their research is very fundamental or potentially controversial.

Description

Keywords

Biology, Europe, Humans

Journal Title

Development

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0950-1991
1477-9129

Volume Title

Publisher

The Company of Biologists
Sponsorship
Wellcome Trust (215116/Z/18/C)
Medical Research Council (MR/P009581/1)
Wellcome