The Biological Sciences Section organised the following events at the 2017 British Science Festival:

The ethics of human gene editing
Emerging gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/cas9 offer the prospect of eradicating genetic disease and, possibly, extending human capacities. Jackie Leach Scully explored how societies now face difficult choices about the kinds of people we want to have, the lives we want to lead – and who makes those decisions.

DIY biology
Community labs, engaged online groups, affordable equipment and open access resources are providing new opportunities for people to participate in scientific research outside of traditional settings. The exciting prospects for increased cross-discipline collaboration, artistic experimentation and original research by those outside of universities and industry were discussed, and the ethical issues and risks of biohacking and open science were debated. BBC radio presenter, Kat Arney explored these topics alongside researchers Bethan Wolfenden, Laura Bowater, Helen Spiers and Mark Erickson.

President 2017: Professor Jackie Leach Scully, Newcastle University
President 2016: Dr. Channa Jayasena, Imperial College London
President 2015: Professor Helen Roy, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
President 2014: Nessa Carey

RecorderJames Brown, Biochemical Society