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Stem Cell Dialogue

Sciencewise-ERC funded project 2007-2008


This project developed public dialogue activities around the science and social and ethical issues of stem cell research. Find out more about the project background.

Aims and Objectives

  • Provide an understanding of views and concerns among diverse groups, including scientists, which could then feed into policy makers’ strategic decision making
  • Provide a good foundation on which to build an ongoing plan of dialogue and communication activities.

Key Impacts

  • The results have been used by research councils and Government departments, for example by informing the Department of Health's study of cord blood banking policy and practice.
  • The findings were considered by the BBSRC Bioscience for Society Panel, to identify issues for BBSRC and on which to make recommendations to their Strategy Advisory Board.

Project Quotes

“The government takes public dialogue extremely seriously. In areas such as stem cell research – which are so important to this country’s future – it is vital that any public concerns are listened to and acted upon.”
Lord Drayson, Minister of State for Science and Innovation, at the launch of the final report in December 2008
“We wrote up the process in our magazine and in our annual report as well as talking about it in parliament, so it was reflected throughout.”
Policy maker
“I gained a lot from listening to the views of a very diverse range of members of the public who, by and large, were very supportive of us but had a few areas where they weren’t certain. I think it has allowed me to sort of set my barometer at a more appropriate point.”
Professor Chris Mason, University College London, an expert speaker and member of the Oversight Group

Delivered By

Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Joint commissioning agent for this project, BBSRC is one of 7 Research Councils that work together as Research Councils UK (RCUK).

Medical Research Council (MRC)
Joint commissioning agent for this project, MRC encourages and supports research with the aim of maintaining and improving human health.

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Latest Status Updates

This project is now complete. Find out more to the right.