UK Citizen Jury confirmed
We are excited to announce that the Society and Ethics Research Group, Connecting Science at the Wellcome Genome Campus will be leading a UK National Citizens’ Jury on Genome editing as part of the broader Global Citizens’ Assembly Project.
The UK Jury will be funded by the Society and Ethics Research Group from the Wellcome Genome Campus and will be run by Simon Burall, Senior Associate from Involve with collaboration from Marit Hammond, Lecturer in Politics from Keele University.
The Wellcome Genome Campus based in Cambridge, England is home to some of the world's foremost institutes and organisations in genomics and computational biology, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale, and imagination to solve some of humanity's greatest challenges.
Anna Middleton, Head of Society and Ethics Research, Connecting Science at the Wellcome Genome Campus will be working directly with Involve to run the UK Citizen Jury. Anna has a history of delivering large scale academic research about the societal impact of genomics on different public audiences and leads the global Your DNA Your Say project involving 37,000 publics from 22 countries in 15 languages with gathers attitudes towards genomic data sharing - outcomes from which will be used in policy from the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.
“I am incredibly excited to be partnering with Involve and the University of Keele to deliver the UK’s citizens jury for the Global Citizens’ Assembly. It is paramount that public audiences across the world have a voice in policy on the future of genome editing technologies so that the technology is able to serve society in ways that are acceptable”
Professor Anna Middleton
Involve is a UK based charity that focuses on deliberative democracy with a specialist expertise in citizens juries. Simon Burall as an Senior Associate of Involve has long and extensive experience in the fields of democratic reform, open government, public participation, stakeholder engagement, accountability and transparency, scientific and technology innovation and organisational change.
“Genome editing raises many profound moral and ethical questions. It is therefore critical that publics around the world are fully involved in the debate about whether, when and how the technology should be deployed. The Global Citizens’ Assembly is an important step to supporting the development of this global democratic debate. We’re delighted to be working with Wellcome Genome Campus and Keele University on the UK citizens’s jury component of this important initiative.”
Marit Hammond is Lecturer in Environmental Politics at Keele University, and Co-Investigator of the ESRC Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). Specialising in political theory, her expertise spans deliberative democracy, critical theory, and environmental governance.
“Deliberative democracy is one of the fastest-moving, most exciting areas of political theory research already - there is immense interest at the moment across academia, civil society, and governments in deliberative innovations such as citizens' juries. Creating a deliberative space like this across the entire globe, on a topic on which such global reach is crucial, is unprecedented. We will be able to see what deliberation can do in an area as multifaceted and contested as genome editing. I am excited to contribute to this global consortium facilitating productive dialogue between very diverse people and societies. This will be hugely rewarding research, with a real impact on the policy discussion. The first step on this exciting journey is our regional case study here in the UK, which we’re designing from the start to closely tie in with the Australian jury and all the other regional case studies.”
A citizen jury of 24 community members from the UK will hear from experts and advocates about gene editing technologies, and will deliberate on how public policy research team’s bespoke social scientific methods. The assessment of their should regulate them. The citizen jury’s deliberations will be analysed using the deliberations will be reported to government and also publicised.
The UK Citizens’ Jury will run parallel to the Australian Citizens’ Jury and then lead into the Global Citizens’ Assembly schedule for early 2022.