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Sarah Norcross

Commissioning Editor

Sarah Norcross is Commissioning Editor of BioNews and Director of the charity that publishes it, the Progress Educational Trust (PET). She is also Co-Chair of the campaigning organisation Fertility Fairness and a Member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's National Donation Strategy Group, the National Gamete Donation Trust's Advisory Council and the Association of Fertility Patient Organisations. She represents PET at conferences and in the broadcast media both nationally (BBC News, Good Morning Britain) and internationally (BBC World News, Fala Brasil) as well as in national newspapers (Daily Mail, Guardian, Telegraph), and in biomedical publications aimed at the public (New Scientist) and at specialists (British Medical Journal, Reproductive BioMedicine Online). Together with Sandy Starr, she organises PET's public events.

Sarah chaired the steering group of clinicians, scientists, patient support groups and medical research charities which fed into policy for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 as it passed through both Houses of Parliament. She has also been a member of the Education, Engagement and Training Working Group of the UK Government's Human Genomics Strategy Group, and she has advised on research projects including Assessing Child Welfare under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: The New Law and Transnational Reproduction: An Exploratory Study of UK Residents Who Travel Abroad for Fertility Treatment. Previously, she worked as a Barrister carrying out advocacy in the civil and criminal courts on the Northern Circuit, and as Vice Chair of the Daisy Network Premature Menopause Support Group.

BioNews Comment articles written by Sarah Norcross:
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Anonymous no more?
17 June 2019 - by Sarah Norcross
This coming Wednesday evening (19 June), the Progress Educational Trust – the charity that publishes BioNews – is holding a free-to-attend public event in London discussing direct-to-consumer genetic testing in relation to donor anonymity... [Read More]
40 years of IVF: past, present and future
28 January 2019 - by Sarah Norcross
The Progress Educational Trust event '40 Years of IVF: Past, Present and Future' promised to be a special one, organised as it was to mark the 40th birthday of the world's first IVF baby boy Alastair MacDonald, and it didn't disappoint... [Read More]
2019 at the Progress Educational Trust
7 January 2019 - by Sarah Norcross
PET welcomes its new Chair of Trustees and announces a packed programme of public events throughout the first few months of 2019... [Read More]
BioNews Christmas Appeal – We Need Your Help
10 December 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
Thanks to all of you who have made a donation to our Christmas Appeal. We have yet to reach our target’ so please donate if you have not already done so - all donations, whatever their size, are gratefully received and really do make a difference to a small charity like the Progress Educational Trust (PET)... [Read More]
BioNews CRISPR Appeal
3 December 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
This week the world's media has been gripped by the birth of what are purported to be the world's first genome-edited babies... [Read More]
BioNews Christmas appeal
26 November 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
BioNews is published by the charity Progress Educational Trust (PET), and we are firmly committed to keeping BioNews FREE for everybody to read... [Read More]
With great genomic data comes great responsibility
11 June 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
As part of Genomics England's Genomics Conversation initiative, the Progress Educational Trust (PET) – the charity that publishes BioNews – is producing a public event this month entitled 'With Great Genomic Data Comes Great Responsibility'... [Read More]
Can lifestyle choices improve the odds of IVF working for you?
29 May 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
Earlier this month, an Australian study was published which looked at whether acupuncture increases the likelihood of a live birth in women undergoing IVF. The lead researcher concluded that 'the findings do not support the use of acupuncture to improve the rate of live births among women undergoing IVF'. Arguments about the pros and cons of the study continue online... [Read More]
Drying out
22 January 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
The PET office is still drying out – the landlord's property surveyor visited this week and declared the ceiling was dry but the walls and floor are still wet. The frustration is not knowing how long it will take to dry and when someone will next come to measure the damp... [Read More]
Dry January
15 January 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
A belated Happy New Year to all our BioNews readers. Unfortunately 2018 has not got off to a good start for the Progress Educational Trust... [Read More]

BioNews Review articles written by Sarah Norcross:
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Theatre Review: Stuffed
19 March 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
Much as I love a laugh and a joke, 'Stuffed', billed as a comedy about fertility and IVF, seemed to me to have the potential of being insensitive and in poor taste - would I and the audience see the funny side?
Event Review: International Association of Bioethics Congress
4 July 2016 - by Sarah Norcross
Bioethics conferences don't get much bigger than this – the International Association of Bioethics Congress drew 700 attendees to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre... [Read More]
Book Review: Louise Brown - My Life as the World's First Test-Tube Baby
5 October 2015 - by Sarah Norcross
'My Life as the World’s First Test-Tube Baby' is a must-read for anyone who works in this sector – especially those who are too young to remember the circumstances around Louise Brown's birth... [Read More]
Book Review: Relative Strangers - Family Life, Genes and Donor Conception
12 May 2014 - by Sarah Norcross
I don't often put my hand up to review books when they pop through the letterbox. Normally, after the pleasure of opening the parcel and inhaling the scent of fresh book, I quickly put it on someone else's desk... [Read More]
Book Review: Telling and Talking with Friends and Family/Our Family
19 August 2013 - by Sarah Norcross
These Donor Conception Network booklets can certainly help with preparing to tell friends and family about donor conception, but it's a shame that there is a need for people to be told how to be considerate to others and that there still seems to be a stigma attached to infertility... [Read More]
Event Review: Patients Have the Right for an Anonymous Donor
29 July 2013 - by Sarah Norcross
Given that the Progress Educational Trust (PET) has just completed a project on gamete donation I was more than intrigued about this debate, but was left disappointed... [Read More]
Book Review: Mixed Blessings - Building a Family with and without Donor Help
6 June 2012 - by Sarah Norcross
A booklet full of advice and case studies, this will be a useful book for all those creating a family, as well as for those who work with them - particularly fertility counsellors... [Read More]
Event Review: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 - A Multidisciplinary Workshop
31 January 2011 - by Sarah Norcross
When the invitation to this event dropped into my inbox, I immediately replied 'yes please'. This academic workshop of around 30 participants covered the legislative and policymaking process, and subsequent impact of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 2008... [Read More]
TV Review: Cutting Edge - My Weird and Wonderful Family
26 July 2010 - by Sarah Norcross
'Cutting Edge goes behind the headlines to intimately portray how gay millionaires Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow's determination to have more children has affected them and their kids' said the teaser on the Channel 4 website. If I hadn't known this programme involved surrogacy, I would have dismissed it as yet another reality show about out-of-control children... [Read More]
Book Review: Faith and Fertility - Attitudes Towards Reproductive Practices in Different Religions from Ancient to Modern Times
12 April 2010 - by Sarah Norcross
First as a reviewer of this book I have a declaration of interest (or lack thereof): I have no faith.... [Read More]

BioNews News articles written by Sarah Norcross:
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Eight million ART babies and counting
3 July 2018 - by Sarah Norcross
Almost 40 years after the birth of the world's first IVF baby, Louise Brown, more than 8 million babies have been born as a result of IVF and other assisted reproduction treatments... [Read More]
Obituary: Professor Sir Robert Edwards
10 April 2013 - by Sarah Norcross
Professor Sir Robert Edwards (27 September 1925-10 April 2013) has died after a long illness.... [Read More]
UK has new minister responsible for fertility and embryology
25 May 2010 - by Sarah Norcross
Following the general election in the UK and the formation of the new coalition government, Anne Milton MP has become the new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health and so is the Government Minister responsible for fertility and embryology. She is the Conservative MP for Guildford - a seat which she won from the Liberal Democrats in 2005.... [Read More]
HFEA publishes new sperm and egg donor figures
3 August 2009 - by Sarah Norcross
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) published new figures showing the number of new egg and sperm donors registered in 2008. The figures published on 31 July 2009 show that the number of both sperm and egg donors has increased.... [Read More]
Congratulations Clare
15 June 2009 - by Sarah Norcross
Clare Lewis-Jones, Chief Executive of Infertility Network UK (I N UK) and More to Life, the largest national charity providing help, support and information to those suffering the effects of infertility, has been awarded a MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to healthcare.... [Read More]
500 Fivers Appeal: BioNews needs you!
18 May 2009 - by Sarah Norcross
BioNews is published by the Progress Educational Trust a small UK registered charity which battles for funding to keep BioNews in operation and free of charge. Back in January we launched the 500 Fivers Appeal to coincide with the publication of... [Read More]
Give us your Jobs!
8 September 2008 - by Sarah Norcross
The Progress Educational Trust (PET) is delighted to announce a new service from BioNews: a 'jobs' section. Today's issue of BioNews contains PET's first job advertisement, placed and paid for by the Human Genetics Commission. Why has PET decided to do this? Like many small charities, PET struggles to find... [Read More]
Progress Educational Trust commends biosciences OBE winner
16 June 2008 - by Sarah Norcross
Progress Educational Trust would like to congratulate Dr Simon Best, who has been awarded an OBE for his services to the bioscience industry. Simon Best is founder and Chairman of Ardana Bioscience, based in Edinburgh, specialising in human reproductive biology and is a... [Read More]