The United Kingdom government regards its regulations for stem cell research as some of the most rigorous in the world. This paper chronologically outlines the important stages in the evolution of these regulatory measures over the past twenty years, including the Warnock Report, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the subsequent series of reports and consultations, and the establishment of the UK stem cell bank. Attending both to the discursive framing of stem cell research and the ethical issues faced, an assessment is made in terms of the appropriateness, adequacy and effectiveness of the UKâ��s regulatory measures. Although institutional learning is detected in areas such as improving public engagement, the UK regulatory process has been open to the accusation of a scientific community regulating itself. This paper recommends that in order to avoid any possible complacency further improvements in public inclusiveness and interdisciplinary representation on regulatory committees should be sought.