Seoul, Korea.

Session Abstract:

Just as a pile of bricks is not a house, science without proper public engagement remains incomplete. The public plays a critical role in determining what positions policy-makers will take on issues like GMOs, nuclear energy etc. but are they at all consulted about introducing driverless cars or the smart technology collection by supermarkets of our purchase history? This session takes a closer look at the headlong rush into new technologies impacting all our lives.

It asks what oversight is being exercised by the scientific, policy-making and civil society communities. Taking as case-studies the examples of cyber security technologies and e-cigarettes, speakers will tackle concepts such as dignity and autonomy as bedrocks of an ethical perception of our lives. How do we differentiate between the responsibilities of individuals to look after themselves and the responsibilities of States to look after their citizens? Should society be allowed to step in and require individuals to accept norms regardless of their own beliefs? This session will equally spotlight the challenge innovators face in convincing stakeholders of expected or proven benefits above real or perceived costs, or even risks. It argues that life-changing technologies may be lost to society because of the ingrained reflex to value precaution above innovation. The common thread will be to promote new, pluralistic and creative spaces for collective thinking about the best tools, tactics and techniques for meaningful scientific dialogue with society.

Irish Flag
Organiser & Moderator

Aidan Gilligan (IRL):
Founder & CEO, SciCom – Making Sense of Science & Member of the Governing Board of EuroScience.

South African Flag Speaker 1:
Prof. Julian Kinderlerer (SA/UK): Julian Kinderlerer is the immediate past president of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), reporting to the President of the European Commission, the Council and the Parliament on ethical issues at their request or on the EGE's own initiative. He is emeritus professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cape Town, is a former professor of biotechnology and Society at the Delft University of technology in the Netherlands and was the Director of the Sheffield Institute of Biotechnology Law and Ethics within the University of Sheffield, UK. He initially graduated from the University of Cape Town in Chemistry and mathematics before obtaining his PhD in biochemistry from Cambridge. He has acted as an honorary Scientist to the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of (South) Korea. Julian advises the South African Government on issues in synthetic biology and nanotechnology ethics, and has recently chaired a group advising the SA government on drafting a new law on indigenous knowledge which is being debated in the Parliament. He has also worked with the United Nations Environment Programme on implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in over 100 countries Amongst other Opinions drafted by the EGE and at the request of the then President of the European Commission the EGE produced two substantive opinions on the ethics of information and communication technologies and on the ethics of surveillance and security systems during its last mandate. Julian has also been involved in producing opinions on ethics of modern developments in agricultural technologies and in the producing an ethical framework for assessing research, production and use of energy.
Dutch Flag Speaker 2:
Dr. Peter Tindemans: Secretary General, EuroScience.