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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Kathy Liddell, Director of the LML, was invited to participate in 
the fourteenth Policy Leaders Fellowship Roundtable organised by the 
Centre for Science and Policy which will take place at Trinity College 
Cambridge on 12 May 2017, chaired by Lord Wilson of Dinton, former UK 
Cabinet Secretary.

The subject for discussion on 12 May was “advances in genetic 
technologies”. Each of the Fellows was asked to summarise in two minutes the questions are of interest to him or her, following which the academics then spoke for five minutes each on the relevance of their research to those questions.

Some of the questions which arose with direct relevance to LML research included: (i) what are the possibilities and risks associated with gene-editing and gene-drive? (ii) in additions to systems to review safety, are  systems of ethical review robust enough? (iii) which organisations and legal frameworks (e.g. IP rights) are the primary source of capital and source funding for genomic technologies (political economy and business models)? (iv) who wins and loses with gene editing and genetic testing (social equity; distributive justice); (v) how might regulation steer a middle way that avoids polarisation and neither exaggerates the potential benefits nor is over-cautious about the risks? (vi) who/what is informing policy currently? (vii) who/what should be informing policy? (viii) how are risks and benefits managed globally? 

The Policy Leaders Fellowship brings together the most senior members of 
CSaP's network of policy professionals to form a select group which 
meets, together with leading researchers from the University and other 
institutions, to share insights into the development of open and 
evidence-based policy making. In line with the objectives of the Civil 
Service Reform Plan, it promotes the value of evidence, and progresses 
the move towards open policy making by opening up new ways of thinking 
and fresh perspectives; exercising “open minds” at the top of the policy 
making process; exploring new models for implementation; and creating 
engagement between policy, expertise and delivery.