Murdo Macdonald
Policy Officer for the Society, Religion and Technology Project
Church of Scotland - Bioethics
Church of Scotland
+44 131 240 2267

Dr Murdo Macdonald graduated B. Sc. in Genetics at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and gained his PhD in molecular biology from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He spent 20 years involved in postdoctoral research in various institutions. For more than half of that time he was engaged in research on leprosy in a number of countries, including India, Ethiopia and Nepal. His work in this area has been published extensively. In March 2008 he returned to Edinburgh in his native Scotland, to take up the position of Policy Officer with the Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) project of the Church of Scotland, which looks at ethical issues in science. He is married to Rachel, a medical doctor, and they have three young children, Esther, James and Keziah.

The SRT project has covered a wide variety of topics in its 40 year history; these have ranged from stem cells to synthetic biology, and from economics to environmental issues.

The Society, Religion and Technology (SRT) Project was set up in 1970 by the Church of Scotland to examine the implications of new and emerging technologies. It seeks to stimulate ethical understanding by engaging with those working in research, industry, government, NGO’s and many other organisations. Its expert working groups provide a forum for multi-disciplinary interaction between scientists and specialists in ethics, theology, sociology, ecology, risk and other fields, to look together at wider dimensions of emerging technologies. Bringing insights from Christian ethics, it has built up a reputation for the quality and balance of its work on complex and vital issues of our times, from North Sea Oil in the 1970’s to cloning, neuroethics and synthetic biology today. SRT also acts a catalyst of public debate on current issues and promotes practical environmental action through the Eco-Congregation programme.

SRT’s Aims

  • To foster an informed understanding in society of the issues confronting it as a result of emerging technologies; to bring a voice of balance into complex issues.
  • To engage with scientists and technologists to reflect on ethical, environmental and societal implications of their work; to promote ethics teaching to science students.
  • To respond with considered judgment to Government and national bodies on technology and environmental issues, and to be active in their European and global dimensions.
  • To inform the churches of Scotland and the UK about key developments.
  • To act as a Christian witness to the world of science and technology.
  • To stimulate good environmental practice in the churches and in wider society.

Sessions I'm Associated With


Tuesday 26 July 2011: 2:00pm - 3:20pm
Wednesday 27 July 2011: 9:00am - 10:20am