Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre

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International symposium on the sociology of mitochondrial disorders

‘MITOSOC: The sociology of mitochondrial disorders and novel reproductive technologies’ (London, 5 May 2017)

PEALS colleagues Erica Haimes and Ken Taylor were invited to present papers at an international symposium on the sociology of mitochondrial disorders, organised by Dr Cathy Herbrand (De Montfort University) and Dr Rebecca Dimond (Cardiff University). 

The event was something of a mini-PEALS reunion, with previous PEALS colleagues Dr Ilke Turkmendag (now at Newcastle Law School) and Dr Jacqueline Luce (now at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA) also participating. Among the other participants were academics in the fields of sociology, law and philosophy, including Sandra Gonzalez-Santos from Mexico, as well as doctoral students, practising clinicians, and representatives of both a patient group and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Erica’s presentation 'Rendering the invisible, visible: the roles, values and interests of egg providers in mitochondrial research and therapy' included new material from the analysis of the interview data gathered during her Wellcome Trust-funded project on women who volunteered to provide eggs for research into mitochondrial diseases.  Ken presented material drawn from his and Erica’s  recent Life Sciences, Society and Policy paper which examined the recent UK debates on the introduction of IVF-based techniques to reduce the risk of women transmitting mitochondrial DNA diseases to their children.

Professor Erica Haimes (right) with Professor Rosamund Scott

published on: 16 May 2017