09 August 2004
Director, Progress Educational TrustAppeared in BioNews 270
In the first commentary I wrote for BioNews, I promised that 'this commentary section will offer our views and the views of others on a different issue each week. After all, it is controversy and disagreement which often challenge people to become involved in a debate. And in all the excitement, a little bit more science gets learnt.' It has long been our view that science communication is not just about getting facts across, but also about engaging people in debate, sometimes using controversial views to catch attention and to clarify the issues. I know, from your correspondence and from feedback through readers' questionnaires, that many of you have enjoyed the views expressed in this column. Some of you have sent a verbal pat on the back, others have expressed strong disagreement. Many of you have written your own comment pieces for the BioNews website - something that we are keen to encourage. But, after reading BioNews each week, I hope you've all felt informed about new developments and engaged in the debate on their social, ethical and legal implications.
I should say that my departure will change BioNews very little. The BioNews editors, Dr Jess Buxton and Dr Kirsty Horsey, and Progress Educational Trust's new Director, Laura Riley, will continue to produce a weekly offering of timely news, comment and information on assisted reproduction and human genetics. And with your support, BioNews will continue to grow and develop, fulfilling its mission to inform, to engage and to promote debate.
Juliet Tizzard is the Founder of BioNews and was formerly Director of the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). She is coauthor of Key Issues in Bioethics (buy this book from Amazon UK) and Designer Babies: Where Should We Draw the Line? (buy this book from Amazon UK).