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Lisa Jardine

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 10 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6027
  1. Chris Mahony, London
  1. chris.mahony{at}

Leader of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and renaissance woman

Alex Macnaughton/REX

Recognised in life and death as a great communicator and populariser of science, Lisa Jardine voiced frustration that during her six year leadership of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) she failed to raise awareness of the limited success and (for many) the costs of assisted reproduction.

A Renaissance historian whose wide ranging interests would qualify her for the term “renaissance woman,” by early 2013 Jardine had safely navigated the HFEA away from the coalition government’s “bonfire of the quangos.” Speaking on the BBC later that year, as her second and final term as HFEA chair drew to a close, Jardine voiced frustration at the “unexpectedly difficult” challenge of managing public expectations.

Given her gift and passion for promoting science to the public, she inevitably sought, she said, to “disseminate as widely as possible both the benefits and drawbacks of assisted reproduction.” Having praised the authority for deploying …

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