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Dr Liddell to chair Science Festival panel "Who Owns Us?"

When Mar 17, 2017
from 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM
Where Babbage Lecture Theatre, New Museums Site, Cambridge
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On Friday 17th March, Dr Liddell will be chairing a panel discussion entitled "Who owns us?" as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. This panel will explore the knotty legal, ethical and social issues associated with the medical use of patient material (such as tissue, cells and antibodies), as well as data.

Why is it well established in the law that we do NOT own ourselves, or even parts of our bodies? But scientists and companies are allowed to own and trade our body parts? Is it ethical for human bodies or body parts to be property? Why does it matter who owns human body parts? How is it possible to patent human genes which have existed for thousands of years - surely human genes are the quintessential example of unpatenable discoveries of Nature? And why do people talk constantly of owning data and information, but judicial opinion is that there is no property in information?