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Professor John Sulston (left), Chair of iSEI and Professor John Harris (right), Director of iSEI
Professor John Sulston (left), Chair of iSEI and Professor John Harris (right), Director of iSEI

The Institute has been established to work at the interface between science and innovation. The transition process for new scientific and technological developments, from discovery through proof of principle to the clinic or market, raises acute issues of justice both social and global. This leads us to examine fundamental questions such as: What is science for? Who owns science? How should, and shouldn’t, science be used? What are the obligations of science to society? What does society owe to science?

Our investigations will focus on actual contemporary cases, and our goal is to present and apply our findings to maximum effect in order to make a difference in the real world and globally. Our interest in these themes has grown through our shared interests in science and ethics.

John Sulston: “Working on the Human Genome Project made me particularly aware of the responsibilities of the global scientific community to the wider world. The fruits of science should benefit everyone, not just those in more wealthy countries.”

John Harris: “My experience is as a commentator on ethical and policy issues in medicine and science and as a professional philosopher with a commitment to justice and to philosophy that makes a difference. I welcome this opportunity to argue from a world-class platform that we have powerful moral reasons to improve both the world and ourselves.”

Together, we are very excited about the opportunity to explore and bring forward possible and desirable changes in the management of innovation. We anticipate that some will find our approaches to the problems that face humanity both radical and perhaps utopian, but our aim is simply to find new ways of working and understanding that will build a better future for humanity.

Professor John Sulston, Chair of iSEI
Professor John Harris, Director of iSEI