Claudio Stern, Head of the UCL Research Department of Cell and Developmental
Biology, along with the conference convenor Dr Samuel Lee run an ethics
course for Bioscience undergraduates here at UCL.
The course invariably focuses on the field of human reproduction. The topic of ovum donation and older mothers is an annual topic of debate, but recent events; 70 year old mothers in India and the demise of Maria Bousada at 69, have made the need for a forum to consider this modern use of technology, even more urgent. The filmmaker Amanda Blue sought advice from Dr Lee for her documentary Oldest Mums which was aired by Cutting Edge on Channel 4 in July 2009. This was because Dr Lee had previously predicted to the Scotsman and LBC that older mothers would become more common and that even a 70 year old would eventually surface. After the meeting and discussion, Blue and Lee realised that there was little information or data on the matter. This inspired Lee to attempt to draw on his own experience and others to benchmark both public and professional opinion on this modern phenomenon, in an attempt to further understand and to deal with women of advanced age who seek to have babies.
This conference, supported by Professor John Carroll, Associate Dean of UCL Biosciences, is topical and fits into UCL’s policy in engaging the public in debate within its role as London’s ‘Beacon of Public Engagement’.
|The conference is dedicated to the memory of Professor Dame Anne McLaren FRS, who was a remarkable lady. She carried out research which underpinned human IVF and from 1974 till 1992 was the Director of the MRC Mammalian Development Unit here at UCL. Anne also contributed greatly in public life and was involved in the Warnock Committeee and the HFEA. Her achievements are many and varied and have been described in depth elsewhere. We do not know what Anne would have said about 21st Century Motherhood, but we know that, whatever she said, it would have been wise. The organisers of this conference would like to honour and dedicate this conference to Anne. In Memoriam.|
The Anne McLaren Memorial Fund at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge
Page last modified on 07 sep 10 13:38 by Glenda Young