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.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Bruno Dallapiccola, scientific director of Europe’s largest children's hospital Bambino Gesù Children’s Research Hospital, recently invited members of the NCCR MSE Ethics Think Tank to convene at the hospital in Rome. A tour of this impressive health and research center was followed by an intensive discussion on ethical issues and challenges of synthetic biology, attended by representatives of the hospital, NCCR MSE, Pontifical Academy for Life, and the Italian National Institute of Health.
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
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.
Ralf Stutzki, Head Ethics NCCR MSE
Renzo Pegoraro, Chancellor Pontifical Academy for Life
Carlo Casalone, Pontifical Academy for Life
Alberto Tozzi, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, Rome
Kevin Fitzgerald, Creighton University (USA)
Monica Consolandi, Trento University (I)
Aleksander Benjak, Scientific Officer NCCR MSE