What’s on the horizon?

We are the only UK organisation with a broad bioethics horizon scanning programme. We have use this approach to identify and anticipate where future developments in biomedicine and health have the potential to impact society. These insights are used to define our programme of work, enabling us to successfully influence the policy agenda.

So far, our horizon scanning programme has been carried out by holding workshops, engaging with a wide range of organisations and individuals, and by monitoring literature and news, across a wide geographical area and different fields of interest and expertise. It is overseen by the Council’s Horizon Scanning Advisory Group. As part of our new strategic direction, we are evolving our methodologies to develop a deeper and more systematic approach to horizon scanning, which in time, will be increasingly global in scope.

We created our first 'What's on the horizon?' interactive infographic in 2019, and because of the positive reception, we now publish one annually. See below for our 2023 infographic. A text-only version of the infographic is available (also available as a word document).

Infographics from previous years

Horizon scanning advisory group

The role of the Horizon Scanning Advisory Group is to lead the Council's horizon scanning programme, which aims to identify developments in biological and medical research in order to inform how the Council prioritises and carries out its work. The Group is comprised of Council members, who each serve a two-year term on the Group.

Chair: Susan Tansey

Consultant Pharmaceutical Physician

Muhammed Afolabi

Clinical Assistant Professor and UKRI Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Sarah Cunningham-Burley

Chair of the Council, Professor of Medical and Family Sociology at the University of Edinburgh

Carol Brayne

Professor of Public Health Medicine and Co-Director of the Cambridge Public Health Interdisciplinary Research Centre

Melanie Challenger

Writer and researcher, across environmental history and philosophy

John Coggon

Professor of Law in the Centre for Health, Law, and Society, at the University of Bristol Law School