About The Hinxton Group

In early 2004, members of the Stem Cell Policy and Ethics Program (SCOPE) at the The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics began developing a new project, planning to bring together an esteemed, international and interdisciplinary group to explore the ethical and policy challenges of transnational scientific collaboration raised by variations in regulations governing embryo research and stem cell science.  While this project was originally planned as a single meeting in Hinxton, UK, the delegates, calling themselves the ‘Hinxton Group’, decided that there were additional challenges they would be able and willing to address, and that this group should not dissolve. Coordinated by a US/UK steering committee, the Hinxton Group is comprised of a growing body of individuals interested in ethical and well-regulated science.

Previous Hinxton Group Meetings:

Transnational Cooperation in Stem Cell Research

This meeting brought together an esteemed, international and interdisciplinary group to explore the ethical and policy challenges of transnational scientific collaboration raised by variations in national regulations governing embryo research and stem cell science.

The specific objectives of the project were to: 1) identify the primary challenges faced by scientists, universities, and journal editors with respect to international collaboration in stem cell research, 2) determine the extent to which it may be possible to develop guidance for conduct that could be useful across national boundaries and national legal regimes, 3) explore the role of oversight and data sharing in international research, 4) explore the question of oocyte donation and related issues, and 5) identify forward-looking strategies to foster the scientific and ethical integrity of research in a global context.

With the generous support of our funders, the international group – including scientists, clinicians, ethics & policy experts, lawyers and scientific journal editors – convened for a three-day meeting, February 22-24, 2006, at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, located in Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.  This meeting resulted in the drafting and dissemination of a Consensus Statement outlining a set of principled recommendations for how work in this area ought to proceed in the context of national variations in policy.

Science, Ethics and Policy Challenges of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Gametes

Immediately following the 2006 meeting, Transnational Cooperation in Stem Cell Research, members of the Hinxton Group Steering Committee, in collaboration with members of the Stem Cell Policy and Ethics Program (SCOPE) at the The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics began developing a follow-up project exploring the Science, Ethics and Policy Challenges of Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Gametes.

The specific objectives of the project: 1) Create a road map for the benefit of policymakers and the public, providing best estimates of projected time horizons and relevant contextual information for likely scientific and clinical applications related to PSC-derived gametes; 2) Provide thorough, informed, forward-looking analyses of the challenges to societal regulation of the research and applications related to PSC-derived gametes (e.g., in the areas of somatic cell nuclear transfer research, assisted reproductive technology research and practice, and germ line modification); and 3) Provide guidance regarding appropriate oversight and ethically acceptable modes of pursuing this research, thereby reducing the likelihood that diversity in international response will result in obstacles to ethically and scientifically defensible research similar to those raised by existing differences in national policies governing stem cell research and nuclear transfer.

With the generous support of our funders, the international group – including scientists, clinicians, ethics & policy experts, lawyers and scientific journal editors – convened for a three-day meeting, April 9-11, 2008 at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, located in Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.  The immediate result of this meeting was a Consensus Statement outlining a set of principled recommendations for how work in this area ought to proceed in the context of national variations in policy.

Publications:

Consensus Documents:

Scholarly Publications:

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