Professor John Harris presented the Council's Annual Lecture ‘Freedom of Speech, Scientific Freedom and Public Safety: A two pipe problem with a dual remedy solution’ at the Wellcome Collection in London on Tuesday 7 May.

More than 100 people attended the event to hear Professor Harris share his thoughts on the tensions raised between these three core elements of a free and just society, and the possible threats to these posed by a sea change in technology and communications.

Following the lecture the audience had their chance to respond and to ask questions, and the animated discussion continued over a well-attended drinks reception hosted by the Council.

Listen to the recording of the lecture.

Guests also had the opportunity to watch the winning films of the Council’s student film-making competition, Box Office Bioethics. We were delighted to have the winning teams in attendance to pick up their prizes, awarded by the Chair of the Council’s Education Advisory Group, Dr Rhona Knight.

About the speaker


John Harris FMedSci., FRSA., FSB., B.A., D.Phil., Hon. D.Litt. Member, Academia Europaea, is Director of the Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation and of the Wellcome Strategic Programme in ‘The Human Body, its Scope Limits and Future’ at the University of Manchester, where is he is Lord Alliance Professor of Bioethics.

From 2004 to 2011 Professor Harris was the joint Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Medical Ethics,and he is currently a member of the Board of Bioethics and many other journals. He frequently appears on radio and television both in the United Kingdom and overseas to discuss biomedical ethics, medical jurisprudence and related issues. He has acted as ethical consultant to national and international bodies including the European Parliament, The World Health Organisation and The European Commission and has served on many advisory bodies including the Human Genetics Commission and the Ethics Committee of the British Medical Association.