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Humanizing Tomorrow's Biomedicine

by Redazione FGB [1], 4 July 2009

The Bassetti Foundation is pleased to announce its association with and participation at the 13th International Intensive Course in Bioethics [2] entitled Humanizing Tomorrow's Biomedicine [3], that takes place between the 13th to the 24th of July 2009 in Udine, Italy.

After opening remarks and a foreword about the aims and the structure of the course, the real business starts with the opening session entitled Principles of Ethics and their Applications.

The afternoon session is entitled Ethics and Innovation, and Jeff Ubois and Piero Bassetti, both of whom speak during this session, and the foundation's scientific director Cristina Grasseni will all be present.

Piero Bassetti will open with an introductory lecture on Ethics and Innovation and Jeff Ubois will follow with a paper entitled Bioethics and the Media, and Cristina Grasseni on The Giannino Bassetti Foundation and Bioethics.
The rest of the first week is mainly conducted under the title Ethics and the Evolution of Life, with guests such as Thomas Murray, CEO of the Hastings Center, who will speak on "Ethical Issues in Newborn Screening". The IP in Bioethics, directed by prof.Saverio Ambesi, will not only cover issues concerning the beginning of life and the end of life, but also health care and money, ethics and the art of communication and communication itself. And, in the second week, Research with Human Subjects, Bioethics and Translational Research and Bioethics and its Application in Medicine. The course closes with a day of students' self directed workshops and final evaluation.

The Bassetti Foundation's interests in a critical rethinking of the concept and role bioethics dates back to its 2005 invitation to Daniel Callahan, the co-founder of the Hastings Centre (Raccolta di materiali su Daniel Callahan -- a cura di Paola Parmendola [4]) to give a distinguished lecture and seminar in Milan (see Daniel Callahan in FGB [5]) on The implications of innovation in the health field: false hopes for medicine? [6] (see the relevant call for comments moderated by Cristina Grasseni).

We have since had occasion to meet Thomas Murray, CEO of the Hastings Centre, both in Italy and in the US (Genomics and sustainable medicine: Interview with President of The Hastings Center, Thomas Murray [7]; and Deepening The Public Conversation Around Bioethics [8], interview by Jeff Ubois) who also participated in the previous run of the IP programme in Italy at Lignano Sabbiadoro (see Bioetica, salute e pratica clinica [9]).

The foundation's mission to foster responsible innovation naturally inclines us to consider serious issues at the borders of technoscience, moral and political reasoning, for instance in the realm of neuroethics (Neuroetica e innovazione [10] by Andrea Lavazza) or human enhancement (Nature, New Yorker on Cognitive Enhancement [11] by Jeff Ubois or Le lame di Pistorius [12]). As well as in the realm of issues of industrial and copy rights and their influence on medical and strategic decision making: Ethical Decision Making During A (Possible) Flu Pandemic [13].

More recent coverage of bioethics "hot issues" that are relevant to the political and intellectual management of innovation can be found in Jonathan Hankins's current exploration of the sites and activities of the Hastings Centre for Bioethics: A look at The Hastings Centre Bioethics Forum [14], and Is ethics a branch of Politics? [15]

Naturally, the Foundation's position on moral thinking and policy-making in "ethically sensitive" areas is profoundly influenced by the ongoing conversations with the social studies of science and in particular on the critical thinking of the way in which expert advice, political decision-making and legal discourse configures "bioethics" as a way of setting issues aside from frank political debate. See the 2008 Distinguished Lecture by Sheila Jasanoff "Making the Facts of Life" (see Sheila Jasanoff in FGB - links [16]; and Life and the Law, Configuring the Human: Sheila Jasanoff al SEMM [17]).

Within this line of debate, the Bassetti Foundation has sponsored the translation and dissemination of "Taking European Knowledge Society Seriously [18]", the report to the EU Commission on the Lisbon Agenda presented in Milan by Brian Wynne and Mariachiara Tallacchini (chair and member of the expert advice group who wrote the report). See Science and Governance: The report for the European Commission presented at the Bassetti Foundation [19] for a resource page.

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Links in this document:

  1. 1] /schedabiografica/Redazione FGB
  2. 2] http://www.uniud.it/international-area/outgoing-mobility/lifelong-learning-programme/programmi-intensivi-llp/bando-bioetica-2009.pdf
  3. 3] http://www.uniud.it/international-area/outgoing-mobility/lifelong-learning-programme/programmi-intensivi-llp
  4. 4] /it/itframeset.php?content=http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/06/cfc-callahan/callahan.htm
  5. 5] /en/events/2006/12/lecture_di_daniel_callahan.html
  6. 6] /en/enframeset.php?content=http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/06/cfc-callahan/index.htm
  7. 7] /en/pages/2008/07/genomics_and_sustainable_medic.html
  8. 8] /en/ubois/2008/07/deeping_the_public_conversatio.html
  9. 9] /it/segnalazioni/2008/07/bioetica_salute_e_pratica_clin_1.html
  10. 10] /it/segnalazioni/2009/02/neuroetica_a_padova.html
  11. 11] /en/ubois/2009/05/nature_on_cognitive_enhancemen.html
  12. 12] /it/focus/2007/07/le_lame_di_pistorius.html
  13. 13] /it/segnalazioni/2009/05/ethical_decision_making_during.html
  14. 14] /it/segnalazioni/2009/07/a_look_at_the_hastings_centre.html
  15. 15] /it/rassegna/2009/06/is_ethics_a_branch_of_politics.html
  16. 16] /en/events/2008/11/sheila_jasanoff_in_fgb_-_links.html
  17. 17] /it/segnalazioni/2008/10/life_and_the_law_configuring_t.html
  18. 18] http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/european-knowledge-society_en.pdf
  19. 19] /en/events/2008/03/science_and_governance_the_rep.html
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