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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter

Sandy Starr
Webmaster

Sandy Starr

Sandy Starr is Webmaster of BioNews and Communications Officer at the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). Together with Sarah Norcross he organises PET's public engagement events, and he works with Face to Face and Ultimate Database developing the current BioNews and PET websites. He is a member of the Ethics Advisory Board of the research project 'European Autism Interventions: A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications', led by King's College London (KCL) and Roche, and is a member of the Autism Ethics Group based at KCL's Centre of Medical Law and Ethics. He also devised the PET project Spectrum of Opinion: Genes, Autism and Psychological Spectrum Disorders and oversaw the creation of a School Resource Pack as part of this project. He organises, chairs and speaks at sessions at the Battle of Ideas festival organised annually by the Institute of Ideas, and he advises on and judges debates at the Debating Matters international sixth-form debating competition.

Sandy originally studied English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and he subsequently joined the founding editorial team of the current affairs publication spiked. He has consulted and spoken on technology and regulation for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Commission project RightsWatch; spent several years writing weekly film reviews for The Sun newspaper's TV Mag; and has contributed to periodicals including the Architects' Journal, Arts Education Policy Review, Economic Affairs, Guardian, Hindu, In-Debate, Independent, Municipal Journal, New Humanist, openDemocracy, Tech Central Station, Times Higher Education, Times Literary Supplement and The Works (magazine of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors). He has also contributed chapters to books including Crime and Deviance in Cyberspace (buy this book from Amazon UK or Amazon USA) and Hate Crimes (buy this book from Amazon UK or Amazon USA).


 


BioNews Comment articles written by Sandy Starr:


Your thoughts about donor conception, conditionality and adoption

20 May 2013 - by Sandy Starr

Should gamete donors be allowed to place conditions on who receives their donation? And should those considering having children via donor conception be encouraged to adopt instead?... [Read More]

What you think about donor conception

13 May 2013 - by Sandy Starr

The Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s project 'When It Takes More Than Two', supported by the Wellcome Trust, sought to clarify public and professional understanding of donor conception by focusing on the different parties involved... [Read More]

What is the role of genetics in sports?

30 July 2012 - by Sandy Starr

Last year, the Progress Educational Trust (PET) conducted a poll as part of its Wellcome Trust supported project 'Genes, Ancestry and Racial Identity: Does It Matter Where Your Genes Come From?' At three public events held under this project's auspices, attendees were asked to suggest questions for PET to put to the public, and the resulting online poll elicited 637 responses... [Read More]

Do we think it matters where our genes come from?

09 January 2012 - by Sandy Starr

The Progress Educational Trust's 2011 project Genes, Ancestry and Racial Identity: Does It Matter Where Your Genes Come From?, supported by the Wellcome Trust, sought to debate race and ancestry in the context of genetics and to explore the connection (or lack of connection) between genetics and the concept of 'race'... [Read More]

Are genetic markers helpful in understanding psychological disorders?

08 March 2010 - by Sandy Starr

In their concluding remarks, all three speakers said the answer to the question implicit in the event's title - if you are genetically predisposed to a neurodevelopmental disorder, does this effectively mean you are marked for life? - is an emphatic 'no'. Nonetheless, they had divergent views on the likelihood of successfully applying the fruits of genetic research into mental health... [Read More]

From autism to Asperger's syndrome

23 October 2009 - by Sandy Starr

The Progress Educational Trust (PET) debate 'From Autism to Asperger's: Disentangling the Genetics and Sociology of the Autistic Spectrum' took place in the UK Houses of Parliament on the evening of 20 October 2009, two days before the Autism Bill received its third and final reading in the House of Lords.... [Read More]

From 'Genomic Medicine' to the new horizon of epigenetics

20 July 2009 - by Sandy Starr

From our perspective at the Progress Educational Trust (PET), one of the most welcome aspects of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's new report 'Genomic Medicine' is its consideration of public engagement issues. This section of the report appears to anticipate and complement PET's plans for its 2009 annual conference, entitled 'Does Genetics Matter? Help, Hype and the New Horizon of Epigenetics', which will take place in East London on Wednesday 18 November.... [Read More]

The debate about single embryo transfer isn't NICE

26 January 2009 - by Sandy Starr

This month sees the coming into force of new regulations by the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which seek to ensure that elective single embryo transfer (eSET) for women under 40 becomes standard practice in IVF treatment in the UK. Under these regulations, public and private fertility clinics... [Read More]


BioNews Review articles written by Sandy Starr:


Event Review: Futures in Reproduction

04 February 2013 - by Sandy Starr

In 2010, Professor Sir Robert Edwards was awarded a long overdue Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, for his the part he played in pioneering both the theory and practice of IVF. This conference focused on the kind of cutting-edge research that takes Professor Edwards' legacy forward... [Read More]

Event Review: Have Your Say on Mitochondria Replacement (London)

19 November 2012 - by Sandy Starr

At the beginning of this year, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority was asked to consult the public on proposed new techniques to avoid the transmission of mitochondrial disease. The resulting public consultation is being conducted in several different ways including two public events, the first of which I attended... [Read More]


BioNews News articles written by Sandy Starr:

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Lisa Jardine to step down as chair of fertility regulator

28 October 2013 - by Sandy Starr

Professor Lisa Jardine has announced that she is due to step down as chair of the UK's fertility and embryo research regulator, the HFEA, in January 2014... [Read More]

Outcry over government adviser's claim that educational achievement is genetic

21 October 2013 - by Sandy Starr

An adviser to the UK Government has provoked an outcry by arguing that there is a significant genetic basis for children's educational achievement... [Read More]

Director of the Science Media Centre awarded OBE

17 June 2013 - by Sandy Starr

Fiona Fox, director of the Science Media Centre charity, has been awarded an OBE for services to science... [Read More]

Public in favour of allowing mitochondrial replacement, says UK regulator

21 March 2013 - by Sandy Starr

Mitochondrial replacement therapy, where a small amount of a mother's genetic material is swapped with material from a donor during IVF to avoid passing on heritable illnesses, enjoys the 'general support' of the public, the UK's fertility regulator says... [Read More]

Ministers urged to use epigenetic research when tackling public health problems

17 September 2012 - by Sandy Starr

Significant improvements could be made to public health by building upon the findings of epigenetic research, according to a leading expert on epigenetics and child health... [Read More]

New law empowers UK Government to transfer HFEA's functions

19 December 2011 - by Sandy Starr

The Public Bodies Bill - which empowers the UK Government to transfer the functions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the country's regulator of fertility treatment and embryo research - has received Royal Assent and has become the Public Bodies Act. This Act represents the realisation in statute of the Coalition Government's longstanding plans for a 'bonfire of the quangos'... [Read More]

Public Bodies Bill clears the Commons

31 October 2011 - by Sandy Starr

The Public Bodies Bill - which, if passed, will allow the Government to abolish the UK's fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority - has completed its report stage and third reading in the House of Commons... [Read More]

Drastic changes to sperm and egg donation policy made by the HFEA

24 October 2011 - by Sandy Starr

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has decided that donors should be paid fixed sums, and that these sums should be £35 per clinic visit for sperm donors and £750 per cycle of donation for egg donors... [Read More]

House of Commons debates amendments to Public Bodies Bill

14 October 2011 - by Sandy Starr

The future of the UK's fertility regulator has been debated by a House of Commons committee. An amendment to the Public Bodies Bill that, if passed, would have prevented the abolition of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), was proposed but ultimately withdrawn by Labour MP Valerie Vaz... [Read More]

HFEA publishes long-awaited review of Taranissi affair

19 September 2011 - by Sandy Starr

The UK's fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), has published a long-awaited review of its conduct in relation to IVF specialist Mohamed Taranissi and related legal proceedings.... [Read More]

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