Sunday, April 02, 2006

Human Enhancement Technologies in Sport


The title of this entry is the same as that used in the new UK inquiry from the Science and Technology Select Committee in the UK Government. It’s off to a good start already, avoiding the pejorative terminology of ‘doping’. I am optimistic that it will broaden the debate and it’s good to see it on the agenda. A representative from the Committee also attended the 'rethinking enhancement in sport' session at the James Martin Institute Tomorrow's People conference the other week (photo, with Professor Julian Savulescu).

I reproduce their press release below:

Select Committee on Science and Technology

No. 24 of Session 2005-06

1 March 2006

NEW INQUIRY

HUMAN ENHANCEMENT TECHNOLOGIES IN SPORT

The Science and Technology Committee is to conduct an inquiry into the use of human enhancement technologies (HETs) in sport, with particular reference to technologies which are likely to impact on the 2012 Olympics.

The Committee is examining the opportunities and problems presented by the increasing availability of technologies capable of enhancing sporting performance and is inviting written evidence on:

 The potential for different HETs, including drugs, genetic modification and technological devices, to be used legally or otherwise for enhancing sporting performance, now and in the future;

 Steps that could be taken to minimise the use of illegal HETs at the 2012 Olympics;

 The case, both scientific and ethical, for allowing the use of different HETs in sport and the role of the public, Government and Parliament in influencing the regulatory framework for the use of HETs in sport; and

 The state of the UK research and skills base underpinning the development of new HETs, and technologies to facilitate their detection.

The Committee would welcome written evidence from interested organisations and individuals addressing these points. Evidence should be submitted by Monday 22 May 2006. Oral evidence sessions will begin in June.

Guidelines for the submission of evidence

Evidence should be submitted in Word format, and should be sent by e-mail to scitechcom@parliament.uk . The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document should include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

For further information please call Ana Ferreira, on 020 7219 2793. Previous press notices and publications are available on our website. www.parliament.uk/s&tcom

Notes to editors:

• Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Science and Technology Committee is empowered to examine the “expenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies”. The Committee was appointed on 19 July 2005.

Membership of the Committee

Mr Phil Willis (Lib Dem, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chairman)
Adam Afriyie (Con, Windsor)
Mr Robert Flello (Lab, Stoke-on-Trent South)
Mr Jim Devine (Lab, Livingston)
Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem, Oxford West & Abingdon)
Dr Brian Iddon (Lab, Bolton South East)
Margaret Moran (Lab, Luton South)
Mr Brooks Newmark (Con, Braintree)
Anne Snelgrove (Lab/Co-op, South Swindon)
Bob Spink (Con, Castle Point)
Dr Desmond Turner (Lab, Brighton Kemptown)

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