The Royal Society
Thu 9 May 2024
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar 2023 Prize Lecture: Talking embryos: changing public perceptions of embryo research image

Professor Sarah Franklin, winner of the 2023 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal, joins us to discuss her research into public perceptions of IVF and embryo research.
Professor Sarah Franklin was one of the first social scientists to conduct in depth qualitative research into public perceptions of IVF and embryo research in the 1980s, and she has continued to research this subject for over 4 decades.
This lecture will closely examine the evolution of public debate over embryo research during that period and will identify specific causal factors that have shifted public opinion, focussing on how we might characterise these changes sociologically. In turn, the lecture will argue for a closer relationship between translational biological research and the social sciences, and further, that the interdisciplinary study of IVF offers a unique opportunity to achieve this goal.
The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture 2023 is awarded to Professor Sarah Franklin for her research into, and advocacy for, the social aspects of new reproductive technologies.