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A strong and stable BioNews, or a coalition of chaos?

15 May 2017

By Sarah Norcross

Appeared in BioNews 900

BioNews is publishing its 900th edition today.

In an era when you can't escape warnings about how to spot fake news, what a boon BioNews is, bringing you accurate news each week. But news is not all we offer. BioNews follows up quickly with expert comment pieces on mainstream media articles such as the Daily Mail's exposé of the UK fertility sector, the legalities of mitochondrial donation treatment in Mexico, and the patent dispute surrounding CRISPR/Cas9.

Experts in Canada, Australia and the USA frequently get in touch to tell us what is going on, and some of our wonderful volunteer writers based outside the UK do likewise. We love working with experts both in the UK and overseas, and are extremely grateful to them for writing for us.

BioNews is proud to give a platform to a wide range of people with differing views to inform the debate. We want debate to flourish and not be stifled.

Reshuffle

Most of our readers will be familiar with the name Antony Blackburn-Starza, as before he became Legal Editor he was a Volunteer Writer. In fact, he has been involved with BioNews one way or another for more than ten years, and has written hundreds and hundreds of BioNews articles. We have dug out his first one from August 2006 – 'Baby girl born through IVF using 17-year-old sperm'.

Antony has left us to focus on completing his PhD, and will be much missed in the office. We suspect he will never quite kick his addiction to BioNews and wouldn't be surprised if he starts penning articles again, once he has written up his thesis.

Science Editor Ayala Ochert has also left BioNews to finish writing her book on the science of breastmilk, and we would like to express our thanks and wish her every success with this venture.

Jennifer Willows is our new Legal Editor, and has also been working part-time in the PET office for the past few months. Jen is working her way round the London universities with degrees in biology and microbiology (Imperial), law (Birkbeck), and a masters in medical law and ethics (King's College London).

Shaoni Bhattacharya has joined the team as our new Science Editor having worked at Nature and New Scientist. She has contributed to books on pregnancy and has won awards for her news and feature writing.

We wish a very warm welcome to you both.

Post-truth

We are told that objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. So, should we publish some fundraising copy that will tug on your heartstrings? Perhaps we should, but it is just not our style. We prefer humour.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a small charity like the Progress Educational Trust, which publishes BioNews, must be in want of a donation or two. If you would like to see a strong and stable BioNews then we need you to make a donation to our Fundraising Appeal.

Even Diane Abbott MP (a very British joke) could see that we still have a long way to go to reach our £4000 target.

So please donate what you can today via PayPal (click here), by text (text 'PROG23 £10' or any other amount to 70070), or by post (as detailed here) - otherwise, we may need to recruit Ms Abbott to balance the books and help us keep BioNews for the many!

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CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


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