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Ethics and Science European Commission

Ethics and Science European Commission

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Ethics and Science European Commission

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  1. Ethics and the European Commission Ethics and Science European Commission

  2. Under existing treaties there is no specific EU competence on ethics – subsidiarity applies The European Constitution project envisioned changes through incorporation of Charter of Fundamental Rights. EU does already address ethical issues in regulations (patents, clinical trials, data protection) and in research programmes. The EU and Ethics

  3. European Group on Ethics Embedding Ethics into EU research through the Science and Society Action Plan Ethical review of Framework research proposals EU activities on ethics and science

  4. Facilitation NEC Forum (European Forum of National Ethical Councils) REC Conference (Research Ethics Committees in EU) Information Infrastructures Capacity Building in Developing Countries Ethics and Science Activities

  5. FORUM of National Ethics Councils (NEC) • The Forum of National Ethics Councils (NEC Forum) • an informal, independent platform for exchange of information, experience and best practices on issues of common interest in the field of ethics and science. • chairpersons and the secretaries of the national ethics councils of Member States. • NEC Forum meetings have taken place, under recent presidencies in Athens, Rome Dublin, Amsterdam and Luxembourg.

  6. Issues so far discussed: adult stem cell research, research on animals, transplantation, education. Next meeting of the Forum - London, next week, 15/16 November. Topics to be discussed: Public health, Forensic databases and reinforcement of links between NECs FORUM of National Ethics Councils (NEC)

  7. 2005 REC Conference in Brussels – Aim: mutual learning and exchange of best practice. At the conference, 10 Countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Slovenia, The Netherlands) joined in a Declaration to set up a European Network of Research Ethics Committees – EUREC. 25 countries have now joined this initiative EU has provided funding of €350.000 to set up this platform Research Ethics Committees

  8. To ensure Commission does not fund ethically unsound research To raise awareness amongst researchers For all ethically sensitive FP6 research projects By independent, multidisciplinary panels Review requirements must be incorporated into research contracts Does not replace need for ethical approval at national or local level FP6 Ethical Review

  9. Independent Multidisciplinary Expert Panels • Law • Science • Animal welfare • Sociology, psychology • Philosophy, theology, ethics • Medicine  from different countries in Europe and Accession & Candidate countries  Gender balance target (40%)  many involved in ethical review in their own countries

  10. 11% of all funded FP6 projects have undergone an ethical review Biomedicine and genetics ~ 45% About 10% each for IT, nanotechnology and food and green biotech. FP6 Ethical Review

  11. Ethics research - €6.5m per year Examples: BITE – REPROGENETICS ENHANCE ETHICBOTS ECD Promoting research on ethics

  12. Bioethical implications of emerging biometric identification technologies. Ethical concerns: Fears about the centralization of biometric identification information and the potential for misuse of these data Evolution of information technology is likely to result in intimate interdependence between human bodies and technology, the so-called informatization of the body. Bioethical implications of emerging biometrics are crucial to determine the future acceptance/refusal of this technology Co-ordinator: Emilio Mordini - Centre For Science, Society And Citizenship, Rome BITE Biometric Identification Technology Ethics

  13. Should humans develop and use the technical possibility to change the genetic constitution of humans and their descendants? Should some new technical possibilities be banned or at least placed under a moratorium no matter how promising they may be? Should gene therapy, cloning and stem cell research be guided by ethical and social reflection, or develop through arbitrary and unknown market forces and the private ambition of researchers and research institutes? A comparative analysis of the ethical aspects of hot issues in gene therapy and cloning, study of ambiguities and inconsistencies in current law and theory and aiming to strengthen them, Co-ordinator: Guido van Steendam - International Forum For Biophilosophy , Leuven, Belgium REPROGENETICS. “The ethics of men making men”

  14. Use of new technologies to both heal and relieve suffering and disability but also to improve human feeling, mental and physical performance (technological change of humanity) Documentation of current and imminent scientific and technological advances that may enhance human cognition, mood, physical performance and ageing. To evaluate these from philosophical, ethical and social perspectives To provide and facilitate policy responses to new, emerging and converging “dual-use” technologies in these areas To promote public understanding and discussion of new dual use technologies and the surrounding ethical debate. Co-ordinator: Henk ter Meulen: Bristol University, Bristol, UK ENHANCE Enhancing Human Capacities, Ethics, Regulation and European Policy

  15. Brain science will change the way we see ourselves and enable use to improve the way the brain functions What do European citizens believe constitutes an improvement of the brain? How do they perceive their own image as human beings? How will new findings in brain science affect that perception? Citizen’s Deliberation assessing research developments and ethical and socio-political aspects of brain science delivering a set of recommendations relevant to policy-makers and the wider scientific and research communities Co-ordinator:Tinne Vandensande, King Badouin Foundation, Brussels ECD European Citizens Deliberation on Brain Science

  16. Technology crossover – new ethical implications Human enhancement (physical, cognitive, mood and ageing - through gene therapy, ICT, silicon implants, robotics, nanotechnology etc.) Impact of ICT research and its potential applications on personal privacy and human dignity Use of animals (including NHPs) for non-medical research Use of chimeric embryos Cross-linking of databases and privacy and confidentiality implications Dual use - increased risk to e.g. security, privacy and discrimination Challenges of new and converging technologies

  17. Further awareness raising of ethics amongst researchers – particularly for the new technologies Ensuring ethical analysis develops rapidly enough to be taken into account in policy development and research governance. How do we handle new emerging ethical issues? Future Challenges

  18. The 6th EC Framework Program Article 3 of the FP6 states that: “All the research activities carried out under the Sixth Framework Program must be carried out in compliance with fundamental ethical principles. In order to implement this article the European Commission has introduced an ethical review for proposals raising sensitive ethical issues into the evaluation process” (…)

  19. EC Action Plan “Science and Society” The principles leading the decision making and everyday behaviour of the Europeans are governed by the respect for: a) human life, b) human dignity c) integrity of the person d) democracy e) the rule of law f) cultural, religious and linguistic diversity g) the freedom of arts and research h) health care i) consumer protection j) the right of the child, the elderly and the handicapped k) environment l) privacy m) liberty and security.

  20. Strategic Science-Society Integration Goals Raising awareness and understanding of researchers about techno-ethical issues; Providing ethical monitoring of emerging robotic, bionic, and AI technologies; Fostering better integration of Science and Society, by promoting responsible research; developing the capability of researchers to communicate in understandable ways to citizens and special groups, including policy makers.

  21. Research and Societal Engagement(European Research Advisory Board) Scientific Publication: Policy on Open Access(European Research Advisory Board) Ethical issues in EU research proposals – checklist European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies The European Conference of National Ethics Committees (COMETH) Academic freedom and university autonomy - Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1762 (2006)(Council of Europe)

  22. Academic freedom and university autonomy - Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1762 (2006)(Council of Europe) Code of conduct for responsible nanotech research (European Commission) Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies: an action plan for Europe 2005-2009. First Implementation Report 2005-2007(European Commission) The PRISM Principles(The Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine)