Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre

Past Activity

Past Activity

Here are some examples of past activity we've been involved in.


Community x-change worked with a group of people living in rural Cumbria and County Durham to influence rural policy.

Jackie Haq was a member of the BBSRC and EPSRC Oversight Group, advising them on their synthetic biology public dialogue.


Simon Woods and Pauline McCormack collaborated with Professor Volker Straub. They met in conversation with patients and passing visitors at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to create a 'Couples Exhibition'.

The idea behind this was to discuss the nature of hereditary genetic disease and the experience of patients living with such conditions. They created a film of the event.


PEALS was awarded a small grant from The Arts Council England’s Artists Insights programme. In partnership with Dott 07 (Designs of the time 2007) we worked with artist and designer Elio Caccavale.

Elio used the placement to develop his ideas for ‘The Future Families Project’. He investigated technologies that enable assisted conception with a view to exploring the effect they might have on our notions of identity, self and family.


The How gay are your genes? project was funded by a Royal Society Connecting People to Science grant. Lisa Mathews explored people’s opinions on research into the genetics of sexuality, and gathered testimonies. This led to a visual arts exhibition about nature/nurture and behavioural genetics.

PEALS was awarded £175,000 from the Northern Rock Foundation for a project entitled ‘Towards providing new leadership in the involvement of diverse communities, especially those normally marginalised, in influencing decisions in the life sciences’. The work was led by Erica Haimes and Tom Wakeford.

PEALS was awarded £30,000 from the North East Stem Cell Institute and One North East for public engagement events to debate stem cell research.


Life Knowledge Park funded a Research Assistant to conduct a literature review on pre-implantation diagnosis: issues of ethnicity.


Ann Lackie worked with us on a project entitled Talking Science. This explored science with different community groups and children in Cumbria.

The 'do-it-yourself' jury project was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. We published a Teach Yourself Citizens' Juries handbook and film. Juries in Tyneside and Hertfordshire focused on GM crops. A jury in East Lancashire focused on alcohol and illegal drug use among young people.