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Publication - Miss Karen Birmingham

    Foundation of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies

    The Catalyst


    Birmingham, K, 2017, ‘Foundation of the International Federation of Human Genetics Societies: The Catalyst’. in: Heike Petermann, Peter Harper, Susanne Doetz (eds) History of Human Genetics: Aspects of Its Development and Global Perspectives. Springer, Cham, pp. 253-261


    The International Federation of Human Genetic Societies was founded in 1996 by a group of American and European geneticists, who had become increasingly dissatisfied with the International Congress of Human Genetics, the only worldwide forum for geneticists at that time. The Congress, founded in 1956, was run by a self-styled “Permanent Committee”, regarded by many as dysfunctional. In collaboration with the World Health Organization, two of the Permanent Committee co-authored a highly controversial set of guidelines on ethics and service provision, which Professor Marcus Pembrey used to catalyse the rapid instigation of the International Federation. This aspect of the Federation’s foundation was unlikely to have come to light had it not been revealed during a brief interview with Professor Pembrey.

    Full details in the University publications repository