Page URL:

We are not afraid

27 January 2014
Appeared in BioNews 739

In 1985, Enoch Powell introduced the Unborn Children (Protection) Bill. This was a private member's bill which, had it been passed, would have banned embryo research and may have even resulted in the prohibition of IVF.

The Progress Campaign, a group of scientists and clinicians, successfully lobbied Parliament to prevent this bill from being passed. This group went on to form the charity Progress Educational Trust (PET) to engage with public policymakers and medical professionals, and inform the debate on the issues surrounding embryo and stem cell research, genetics, and assisted conception. PET believes this is important because it creates an environment in which ethically sound research and practices thrive – for everyone's benefit.

This is why PET was delighted to receive this testimonial from John Harris, Sir David Alliance Professor of Bioethics and Director of The Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester.

'PET is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects and is adept at framing the discussion of these even when they involve issues of personal and community sensitivity such as cousin marriage, race and mental health. It is to PET's great credit that these topics can be discussed so openly and freely. The professionalism and sensitivity with which they approach each subject is excellent'.

Giving a platform to a wide range of opinions, whether in BioNews or at one of PET's public events, is an integral part of our work. The need to carry out this work has not abated, as anyone who has seen the ongoing debate around inheriting mitochondrial disease in our comment pieces will know.

This type of work is unfunded, so to make sure we can continue the debate, we need you to donate to our 21st Anniversary Appeal now. PET aims to raise £21,000 and you can help us reach this target in a number of ways –

Make a one-off donation online by visiting

Text 'PROG23 £[amount]' to 70070 to donate

Or send a cheque made payable to Progress Educational Trust to 140 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8AX.

Thank you!

20 January 2014 - by Sarah Norcross 
PET needs your help to continue to inform the debate on the ethical issues surrounding genetics, assisted conception and stem cell and embryo research so that 'ignorance and prejudice do not dictate the outcome'...
16 December 2013 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
Twins have long been an endless source of fascination to their family, friends and society, and also to scientists. This year, the topics of twins in genetics and twins in fertility treatment formed the two halves of Progress Educational Trust's annual conference...
30 September 2013 - by Dr Gabrielle Samuel 
This event was designed to promote debate about how and when fertility research should be reported in the media, and to ask the question 'where does the responsibility lie to ensure that such reporting is not hyped?' And that it did...
1 July 2013 - by Dr Rosie Morley 
The UK Government is to support the introduction of mitochondrial replacement therapy. The IVF-based procedure could allow women with mitochondrial disease the opportunity to have healthy children, by replacing their own, faulty, mitochondria with healthy mitochondria from a donor....
to add a Comment.

By posting a comment you agree to abide by the BioNews terms and conditions

Syndicate this story - click here to enquire about using this story.