Social debate to break taboo

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport asked us to organize a social dialogue to investigate how the cultivation of embryos specifically for research is currently viewed in the Netherlands.

Within the project we combined different forms of dialogue: focus groups with experts, parties from the social field and a citizens’ panel. We also organized a public meeting in the form of a Social Café. In addition, quantitative research was conducted among more than 1,000 Dutch citizens by means of a questionnaire.

Creating support

People in the Netherlands have very different opinions on this subject. Although the Dutch are generally positive about the cultivation of embryos for research, our research shows that the conditions they set are important. For example, some respondents want societal control over the types of research that may be conducted. Also, new information can quickly change opinions on the subject.

The final report on our research has been presented to the House of Representatives. The results are the basis for further social and political dialogue on the special breeding of embryos for research.