Ethics think tank

May 2023: Ethics Think Tank meeting

On May 15 - 16 the Ethics Think Tank convened in the Vatican to analyse the first edition of ICEEL. The overall positive feedback to the event in September 2022 prompted the consortium to plan a second conference for 2024. Furthermore, new members were welcomed to the Think Tank: Kevin Fitzgerald (Creighton University), Monica Consolandi, (Trento University) and Alberto Tozzi, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome.

September 2022: ICEEL in Rome

The 1st edition of the „International Conference Ethics of Engineering Life“ (ICEEL) which due to the pandemic in the years before had to be postponed twice finally took place in the Vatican from 26 to 27 September 2022. 50 international speakers representing the sciences and humanities came together in the rooms of Radio Vatican to discuss the immanent challenges of the Engineering Life research. The event was video broadcast live and enabled people around the globe to actively participate in the discussions.
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November 2021: Ethics Think Tank meeting in Rome

Together with with a group of selected international scholars the ETT has met at the Pontifical Academy in Rome 15 - 16 November 2021. Our aim was to trigger a lively discussion about what effects the pandemic has had so far on the ethical challenges of Engineering Life and which steps in light of this unusual situation have to be taken next by the sciences. The two day meeting included a free webinar "Ethical Challenges of Engineering Life Following the Global Pandemic" on November 16 and concluded with the re-launch of our International Conference Ethics of Engineering Life (ICEEL) to be held in Rome in 2022.

February 2021: ETT online seminar "Scientific Ethics in Times of Pandemic"

24 February 2021: Ethics Think Tank partners Pontifical Academy for Life, Rome and Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome, and NCCR MSE in Basel teamed up to organise an online ethics seminar for our NCCR MSE members. 

April 2019: Research meeting in Rome

For two days, the core authoring team Renzo Pegoraro, Carlo Casalone (both PAL) and Ralf Stutzki (NCCR MSE) met in Rome to work on the draft of the ethics statement. In a next step the script will be circulated amongst all members of the Ethics Think Tank and should be available for publication in summer 2019.

March 2019: Ethics Think Tank meets in Basel

The third meeting of our Ethics Think Tank took place in Basel. Chancellor Renzo Pegoraro and padre Carlo Casalone from the Pontifical Academy for Life in Rome visited the NCCR labs and presented a selection of key philosophical aspects inherent in the discussion about ethical challenges of synthetic biology. Prof. Marco Tartaglia, Head Genetics and Rare Diseases Research Division of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, joined the meeting via telephone conference. NCCR MSE was represented by the directors Tom Ward & Daniel Müller, Scientific Officer Aleksander Benjak and Head Ethics Ralf Stutzki.

The NCCR MSE Ethics Think Tank is currently preparing a first statement on its findings about ethical aspects of molecular systems engineering.

Visiting the NCCR Labs (left to right: Tom Ward, Renzo Pegoraro and Carlo Casalone).

November 2018: Ethics Think Tank konferiert in Rom

Auf Einladung von Prof. Bruno Dallapiccola, wissenschaftlicher Direktor des grössten Kinderspitals in Europa Bambino Gesù Children’s Research Hospital, fand nun das zweite Arbeitstreffen des NCCR MSE Ethics Think Tank in Rom statt. Neben dem Besuch dieses beeindruckenden Gesundheits- und Forschungszentrums stand eine intensive Diskussion über ethische Fragestellungen und Herausforderungen der Synthetischen Biologie auf dem Programm, an der Vertreter des Hospitals, NCCR MSE, Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) und Italienisches Gesundheitsministerium teilnahmen.

Von links nach rechts: Padre Carlo Casalone (Pontifical Academy for Life), Ralf Stutzki (NCCR MSE), Tom Ward (NCCR MSE), Bruno Dallapiccola (Bambino Gesù Children’s Research Hospital), Aleksander Benjak (NCCR MSE), Marco Tartaglia (Bambino Gesù Children’s Research Hospital), Don Renzo Pegoraro (Pontifical Academy for Life) and Carlo Petrini (Italian National Institute of Health)

NCCR MSE & PAL: new ethics think tank

The NCCR MSE has teamed up with the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAL) in Rome to build a think tank focusing on the ethical challenges of synthetic biology and molecular systems engineering. This think tank will 

  • Analyse and debate current and/or emerging ethical conflicts which may arise in the course of our research
  • Organize seminars and lectures aimed to train the public and NCCR MSE researchers in participating responsibly in the ethical communication process. 

Since our research in phase II will increase its focus on the therapeutic potential of molecular systems engineering (e.g. vision restoration; metabolic disorders; systems immunooncology), we are convinced that the PAL as a leading global networker and contributor to the academic field of bioethics will be an inspiring and challenging partner in our ethical discourse. 

During a recent visit to Rome members of this NCCR together with the PAL outlined the strategy and goals of this cooperation and set the pace for this aspiring project.

NCCR/PAL think tank Mitglieder

Renzo Pegoraro, chancellor PAL

Carlo Casalone, PAL

Bruno Dallapiccola, scientific director of Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome

Marco Tartaglia, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome

Carlo Petrini, president of the ethics committee Italian National Institute of Health

Daniel Müller, co-director NCCR MSE

Aleksander Benjak, scientific officer NCCR MSE

Ralf Stutzki, head ethics NCCR MSE

Kontakt für Ethics Think Tank

Ralf Stutzki, Verantwortlicher Ethics