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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

3rd Meeting of the 184th Session (2004-2005)

The Ethics of Stem Cell Research

Dr Donald Bruce
Society, Religion and Technology Project
Church of Scotland

In the Wolfson Suite, Ground Floor
Edinburgh University Library
George Square, Edinburgh
On Monday 17th January 2005, at 7 pm

Human stem cells open up exciting medical possibilities to treat hitherto untreatable degenerative diseases by producing suitable replacement cells. At this early stage in the science, embryonic stem (ES) cells seem to be the most likely source of the widest range of cell types and thus of treatments, but they raise major ethical problems over the inherent ethical status of the embryo. For some, the early embryo is just a ball of cells with no formed human characteristics, justifying research for medical benefit. For others, all research on the embryo is unacceptable on principle because the embryo is as fully human in status as a baby.

Dr Donald Bruce has been Director of the Society, Religion and Technology Project of the Church of Scotland since 1992. He previously spent 15 years in chemistry research in nuclear energy and safety and risk assessment. He holds doctorates in chemistry and theology. The SRT Project was established in 1970 to address ethical and social issues arising from modern technology. He teaches ethics for biotechnology students, is much involved with public engagement and participation on science issues, and is a frequent writer and broadcaster.

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Dr Stuart Monro, will be in the Chair

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Secretary

The Royal Scottish Society of Arts is Registered Scottish Charity SC015549

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