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The University of Southampton
Clinical Ethics, Law and Society

Mission Statement:

"Rapid technological advances promise big improvements in medical care. The world needs leadership in understanding and responding to the ethical and societal impact of these radical changes. CELS brings together interdisciplinary expertise to meet this need by addressing the ethical, legal and societal issues through research, education, policy engagement and public dialogue".

Prof Anneke Lucassen to present John Locke Lecture 2022

In this lecture I will ‘mutate’ John Locke’s essay ‘concerning human understanding’ into the genomics age. Thus, and to misquote Locke: “Genomics is not at this time without master-builders, whose mighty designs, in advancing the sciences, will leave lasting monuments to the admiration of posterity: but in an age that produces such masters as the great [X and Y] … it is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish that lies in the way to knowledge....”

We have a vacancy for a Research Assistant!

We’re looking for a research assistant to conduct a literature review exploring the environmental impacts of personalised medicine manufacturing. Someone with experience in life cycle assessments is desirable but not essential. It’s full time for 6 months, but part time will also be considered. It would work well for masters, PhD or recently graduated student. Based at Oxford University in the Centre for Ethics, Law and Society, Wellcome Centre of Human Genetics. If interested, please contact

Welcome Dr Helena Carley!

CELS are very pleased to announce that Dr Helena Carley has recently joined the team here at Southampton! Helena has an interest in fostering situated ethical decision-making in clinical practice, with a particular relevance to Clinical Genetics and Genomics. She is particularly interested in understanding how ethical issues in genetics arising in mainstream (non-genetic) specialties are managed. She is also interested in ethical issues surrounding the application of emerging genomic frameworks and technologies.

‘Inspiring Stories’ with Lisa Ballard

This is part of the Engaged Medicine ‘Inspiring Stories’ blog series. The blogs explore the stories behind outreach and patient-public engagement activities of staff and students from the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine.

Cogratulations to Dr Juliette Schuurmans !!

Results of a joint UK-NL study received press coverage in the Netherlands recently as Dr Juliette Schuurmans defended her PhD thesis in the Netherlands on 28th June 2021. This marked the completion of the first joint PhD from a University of Southampton and Academic Medical Centre Groningen PhD programme.  

Using Hospital Data to Improve Healthcare

We are exploring how we can facilitate better use of hospital data to improve standards of care within the NHS. It is really important that this system is trustworthy and can promote and protect the interests of individuals, groups and communities. To develop this system democratically, we need lots of people to tell us about their concerns, experiences and hopes for the future. Please take a look at this short animation which looks at this issue.  

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