Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee

Terms of reference

The Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee (ESBAC) is the main UK advisory body on emerging healthcare scientific developments and their ethical, legal, social and economic implications. It is sponsored by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Department of Health (DH), England. Its membership includes representation from all UK Health Departments for whom ESBAC also provides advice. ESBAC also provides a forum to consider and develop coordinated advice across the wider science, health and academic communities to help set priorities in response to new developments.

Code of Practice

Code of Practice (including terms of reference)


Papers and minutes of ESBAC meetings


Latest information from the Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee


  • Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge (Chair)

Social Sciences, Humanities and Economics

  • Dr Paula Boddington (bioethics specialist)
  • Professor Bobbie Farsides (bioethics specialist)
  • Professor Joyce Tait
  • Dr Stuart Hogarth
  • Mr James Peach


  • Dr David Townend
  • Mr Julian Hitchcock
  • Ms Madeline Colvin (lay member)


  • Professor Duncan McHale
  • Dr Dipti Amin

Science in Society (media, public engagement)

  • Dr Bella Starling

Biosciences and Biotechnology

  • Professor Nicholas Lemoine
  • Dr Jonathan Mill
  • Professor Neil Scolding
  • Professor Peter Littlejohns
  • Professor Andrew Baker

Ex-officio Members

  • Dr John Brown (Technology Strategy Board)
  • Professor Angus Clarke (Wales Chief Medical Officer)
  • Ms Katherine Littler (Wellcome Trust)
  • Dr Julie Maxton (The Royal Society)
  • Dr Michael McBride (Northern Ireland Chief Medical Officer)
  • Dr Aileen Keel (Scotland Chief Medical Officer Representative)
  • Dr Rachel Quinn (Academy of Medical Sciences)
  • Professor Sir John Savill (Medical Research Council)
  • Ms Diana Sternfeld (BioIndustry Association)
  • Dr Bina Rawal (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry)
  • Mr Hugh Whittall (Nuffield Council on Bioethics)

Download: ESBAC members’ biographies (updated January 2013)

Download: Register of members’ interests (updated January 2013)




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