Retiring Huddersfield professor receives honorary award

Professor Eric Blyth

Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:00:00 GMT

Professor of Social Work Dr Eric Blyth receives an Emeritus Professorship

Professor Eric Blyth THE Huddersfield-man and social worker, who led a campaign which resulted in a change to UK law regarding egg donor anonymity, has received an honorary award from his local University. 

Professor of Social Work, Dr Eric Blyth, is retiring from the University of Huddersfield and will receive an Emeritus Professorship having been deemed to have served the University with “particular distinction”. 

Professor Blyth began his social work career with Kent County Council in 1971 and joined the University of Huddersfield in 1983. 

For more than 20 years, he has been involved in research and policy development in assisted human conception.  His particular interests have been in the area of third-party assisted conception, having undertaken research in the UK, Canada the USA and internationally into surrogacy arrangements, egg, sperm and embryo donation and cross-border reproductive services. 

As a long-standing member of the British Association of Social Workers Project Group on Assisted Reproduction, he was an active member of an alliance that included social workers, child-care NGOs, parents of donor-conceived children and donor-conceived individuals that campaigned for a change in UK law regarding donor anonymity.  That campaign resulted in a successful change of legislation in 2005. 

Having travelled extensively to present the results of his research, Professor Blyth became a founder member of the British Infertility Counselling Association, consultant editor of the Journal of Fertility Counselling (1998-2003) and joint editor of the British Journal of Social Work (2004-2010). 

In the University’s School of Human and Health Sciences, Professor Blyth headed the social work programme between 1995 and 1999, helped establish both the School’s Research Ethics Panel, serving as a member and chair between 2001 and 2015, and the School’s support programme for postgraduate research students, where he served as Director of Postgraduate Research between 2001 and 2004. 

Professor Blyth is currently an international advisor for the China Journal of Social Work, an international assessor for the Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board and an advisory panel member of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (Australia).

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