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Dr John Gillott

Dr John Gillott is a Volunteer Writer at BioNews, and is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Open University's Development Policy and Practice group. His PhD research was conducted at Innogen and focused on the changing governance of science, which he explored through a study of human embryo and human tissue research in the UK. He also has a degree in mathematics, and he previously worked as a Policy Officer at Genetic Alliance UK. He is author of Bioscience, Governance and Politics (buy this book from Amazon UK), and coauthor of Science and the Retreat from Reason (buy this book from Amazon UK). He tweets as @gillott_john

BioNews Comment articles written by Dr John Gillott:
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Boris, genes and class
2 December 2013 - by Dr John Gillott
Boris Johnson, Margaret Thatcher, bankers, left-bashing, genetics and IQ – light the blue touch paper and stand back... [Read More]
Back to school - using genetics to personalise education
28 October 2013 - by Dr John Gillott
Dominic Cummings and Robert Plomin are claiming a great deal about the effect of genetics on intelligence, some of which is sound, some of which is not and some of which is very speculative... [Read More]
After the tyranny of the embryo?
17 June 2013 - by Dr John Gillott
In her commentary in BioNews 707, Professor Alison Murdoch highlighted what she described as cultural problems affecting fertility treatment in the UK. In this commentary I consider some related cultural and governmental issues for embryo research.... [Read More]
Regulators and embryologists aren't buddies
31 January 2011 - by Dr John Gillott
The presentation of a public consensus and common purpose between regulator and scientists needs critical scrutiny. In reality, some of the claims made to support this consensus are vigorously contested... [Read More]
A permissive trend - and its limitations
12 May 2008 - by Dr John Gillott
Today's 'Show of Support' for the UK HFE Bill, now before the Commons, to put forward the message to MPs that it is 'vitally important that the legislation is not watered down', raised questions and debate about whether scientists are protesting, lobbying or explaining around the issue (1). But what... [Read More]
PGD and the Human Tissue and Embryos (Draft) Bill
11 June 2007 - by Dr John Gillott
The UK Draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, published recently, explicitly covers a number of uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). In this commentary I concentrate on just one - PGD to avoid diseases or disorders with a genetic component. The Draft Bill proposes that a licence can only be granted... [Read More]
Embryos, hybrid embryos and UK law
10 April 2007 - by Dr John Gillott
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's report, 'Government Proposals for the Regulation of Hybrid and Chimera Embryos', is its response to two related events: firstly the UK Government's intention to outlaw the creation of such entities, announced in December 2006 in its White Paper (1), and secondly the... [Read More]
Human rights, privacy and medical research: analysing UK policy on tissue and data
22 May 2006 - by Dr John Gillott
Human rights, privacy and medical research', a new report published by the Genetic Interest Group, traces the impact that the right to privacy is having on the regulation of medical research and clinical practice, with a particular focus on implications for human genetics. Less than 15 years ago, English law... [Read More]
Reproductive rights - and wrongs?
13 February 2006 - by Dr John Gillott
Baroness Kennedy, launching the Human Genetics Commission (HGC)'s new report, Making Babies: reproductive decisions and genetic technologies, said: 'Science, harnessed by society to prevent real suffering, is a social good. However, a culture which does not acknowledge that all humanity has a value, and that each one of us... [Read More]
Putting genetics into practice
30 June 2003 - by Dr John Gillott
Back in April 2001, Alan Milburn, the then Secretary of State for Health, announced that the Government would publish a Green Paper on genetics in 2002, drawing together advances in the field, mapping out the steps needed to prepare the NHS 'so it can harness the benefits of these future... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by Dr John Gillott:
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Book Review: The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA matters for social equality
18 October 2021 - by Dr John Gillott
'Genetic differences between people create differences between them in their likelihood of having speech and language problems. Genetic differences between people create differences between them in their likelihood of being homeless. The first sentence is not particularly controversial; the second one almost definitely is. But why?'... [Read More]
Book Review: G is for Genes - The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement
17 February 2014 - by Dr John Gillott
The last few months of 2013 featured a good deal of public, policy and even Parliamentary debate on genetics, education, and IQ... [Read More]
Professor Plomin Goes to Parliament
16 December 2013 - by Dr John Gillott
Giving evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee, Professor Robert Plomin made some very important points. But he needs to rein in the hyperbole if he wants to make headway in political and policy worlds... [Read More]