IntroductionA group of students at an Exeter school took part in a workshop led by Egenis researchers.
The group of 25 GCSE Biology students from St Peter’s School discussed the rules and ethics surrounding embryo research, considering issues involved in embryo research from a variety of different perspectives. They explored questions such as: What is an embryo? What is embryo research? Who decides what research is allowed to take place? Who should decide?
"It was very exciting to work with St Peter’s and some of the children there," said Egenis researcher Jean Harrington. "Young people have very strong views which aren’t always heard, and they can often offer a fresh perspective."
"We really enjoyed doing this," agreed her co-organiser, research fellow Dana Wilson-Kovacs. "We very much hope that this will be just the first time that we run this workshop in the local area, and that we are able to work with other school groups in the future."
The students clearly enjoyed the event as well, joining in the discussions with enthusiasm.
"The pupils were obviously completely engaged in the task and offered a variety of views both from the perspective they were given in the role play and their own opinions," said St Peter's Science teacher Lynsey McCahill. "The topic is very relevant to their studies and it will be of great benefit to them that they have had this morning looking at the ethical, social and moral issues surrounding stem cell research particularly."
The ESRC Festival of Social Science is an annual week-long programme of events held across the UK, highlighting and celebrating social science research. This year's Festival ran from 6 - 15 March, with the St Peter's workshop taking place on 12 March.