The Council is a deliberative body.
The main role of the Council is to consider questions of strategic direction, topic identification, review of ongoing work and overseeing the range and quality of outputs and activities. The Council critically reviews the work of working groups at key stages during the projects, so as to ultimately adopt the final outputs and reports. Find out more about how the Council works.
Download a register of Council members’ interests.
David Archard was appointed Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in 2017. He is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Queen’s University Belfast. He has published extensively in applied ethics, moral and political philosophy, and jurisprudence. He authored Children: Rights and Childhood, widely regarded as the first book to offer a detailed philosophical examination of children’s rights. Between 2005 and 2016 he was a Member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and latterly its Deputy Chair. He is also currently a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, and is Honorary Vice-President of the Society for Applied Philosophy.
Simon is a Senior Associate of Involve. He has extensive experience in the fields of public participation, accountability and transparency, scientific and technology innovation and organisational change. He has worked at the local and national level in Africa, Asia, and Europe. His current focus is on developing more effective ways for citizens to be involved in the development and application of technological innovations. Simon is a Fellow WWF UK and Programme Director for Sciencewise.
Simon Caney is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Warwick. His research interests are in contemporary political philosophy – including the application of political philosophy to global politics, ethical issues raised by climate change, and intergenerational justice. He was a member of the Council’s Working Party on Biofuels.
Melanie is a writer and researcher, across environmental history and philosophy. Her books include ‘On Extinction’, and the forthcoming ‘How To Be Animal’. She publishes and presents ideas that bring together environmental ethics, bioethics, and natural history. Melanie also works in the creative arts, and is a frequent collaborator with composer Mark Simpson. Their first opera, ‘Pleasure’, starring Lesley Garret, toured with Opera North, Royal Opera, and Aldeburgh Music in 2016.
Tara Clancy is a Consultant Registered Genetic Counsellor (GCRB 190) and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine. Her main clinical and research interests are cancer genetics and ethical, legal and psychosocial issues in genetics. She is Chair of a University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee, and is on the Steering Group of the UK’s Genethics Club.
Frances is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Genetics at Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, where she was also the Caldicott Guardian for 12 years. Her special interests include pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and inherited kidney diseases. She previously served on the Human Genetics Commission, and was the elected President of the Clinical Genetics Society from 2009-11. Frances was a member of the Council’s Working Party on mitochondrial replacement therapies.
Elaine is a former Consultant Psychiatrist, with extensive experience in national and international bioethics policy. Working at the Department of Health, she contributed to bioethical policy development on a wide range of issues. She led bioethical negotiations for the UK in the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the United Nations and has chaired the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics. She now has a judicial role in the First-tier Tribunal.
Dr Andy Greenfield is a Programme Leader in Developmental Genetics at the Medical Research Council’s Harwell Institute. His research concerns the molecular genetics of mammalian sexual development. From 2009 to 2018, he was a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and he chaired two expert panel reviews of mitochondrial donation techniques in 2014 and 2016. He has spoken on numerous occasions about the science and ethics of genomic technologies and their application in animals and humans.
Anne is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds. She has a background in Science and Technology Studies and Medical Sociology, researching professional, patient and public encounters with innovative health technologies, including assisted conception, reproductive genetics, regenerative medicine, and genomic medicine for cancer. She has written widely on her research with colleagues from across the social and bio-sciences, focusing on how patients, researchers and clinicians craft the opportunities and risks of biomedicine.
Shaun Pattinson is Professor of Medical Law and Ethics at Durham University. His written scholarship spans a wide range of topics within law and bioethics, and includes two monographs and a leading textbook on Medical Law and Ethics (now in its 5th edition). He is Deputy Chair of the Council, Chair of the Council’s Horizon Scanning Advisory Group and was a member of the Council’s working group on non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
Michael is Professor of Science Education at UCL Institute of Education, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Priest in the Church of England. He was a member of the Farm Animal Welfare Council/Committee (2004-12), Director of Education at the Royal Society (2006-08), a member of the GM Science Review Panel (2002-04), Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures (2001-02) and Chair of EuropaBio’s External Advisory Group on Ethics (2000-01).
Mehrunisha is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge. Her research involves an ethical analysis of the experiences of end of life care services in the UK from Muslim perspectives. She is an expert for UNESCO’s Ethics Teacher Training Programme and was awarded the 2017 National Ibn Sina Muslim News Award for health. She has an ‘Alimiyyah degree in traditional Islamic studies, which she was given under the supervision of Shaykh Akram Nadwi at Al Salam Institute in 2013.
Christine Watson is Professor of Cell and Cancer Biology in the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge and a Vice-Principal of Newnham College. Her research is focussed on understanding the molecular genetics of normal breast development and using these insights to develop new approaches for treating breast cancer. She has an interest in science communication and the ethical implications of biological research.
Robin A Weiss is Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology, University College London. His main research interests include cancers caused by viruses and infectious diseases such as HIV. He has served on a range of committees, including the DoH Ethics of Gene Therapy Committee, the Board of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV, South Africa, and chairing the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative.
Heather Widdows holds the John Ferguson Chair of Global Ethics in the Philosophy Department at the University of Birmingham. She works on Global Ethics, Bioethics, Virtue Ethics and Feminist Theory, with a particular interest in the ethical issues which arise in the context of globalisation. She is currently on the REF Philosophy Sub-Panel and from October 2014 takes up a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to work on her new book, ‘Perfect Me!’, which explores ideals of beauty and perfection.