One of the UK’s most famous doctors and scientists, Professor Lord Robert Winston, visited Keble Prep School in Winchmore Hill.
Lord Winston is a Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London, and pioneered new treatments to improve in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and pre-implantation diagnosis. He is well known for his TV and radio work including the long running BBC documentaries Your Life in Their Hands and Child of Our Time.
The professor addressed all the boys and spoke with enthusiasm about his own experiences. He was interested to hear their views and concerns and took many questions from the rapt audience on a variety of topics, such as ethics in science and the pursuit of perfection. His anecdotal responses were both humorous and interesting.
Boys learned more about the innovative work Lord Winston has done with other scientists, to improve fertility treatments and screen embryos to help parents carrying faulty genes to have healthy babies. This progress was made in the face of wide political condemnation, including a bill in Parliament which was defeated, and now seven million families around the world have had babies thanks to IVF.
“It is wonderful that someone with so many amazing achievements freely gives up their time to inspire our boys, which is remarkable and humbling.” Mr Perran Gill, Headmaster at Keble Prep.
Lord Winston told the assembled boys: “I visit schools because you are the future of our society. It’s important you understand your responsibility and the need for an ethical attitude to science.”
Before taking questions from the boys, Lord Winston summed up his central message: “We should all understand science so that in a democratic society we can make wise decisions about how we use the science.”
After the event the professor had kind words to say about Keble. “I want to come back again….” he commented, “I visit a lot of schools and I think Keble students scored very highly – they asked a lot of good questions. The teachers here can be proud of their students – and of course the students of their teachers: it’s a two-way situation after-all,”.

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