Over four decades, "Bioethics"
has defined the narrative space for reflections on normative
issues related to the life sciences. As a profession, bioethicists
have become part of the institutional framework of science
governance, to serve analytical and advisory purposes for
a broad range of stakeholders (state, business and social
groups). As a discipline, it has developed a curriculum
that is distinguishable from the humanities (especially
philosophy and history), social sciences (esp. anthropology)
and pure medicine. Although most nations and scientific
communities have contributed and adhered to some of the
standards of the field, Bioethics is yet to be in the lead
of conceptual inspiration and innovation.
Limitations of the current framework and institution are
exposed when one attempts to address the depth, diversity
and fluidity of trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural topics
and themes that it brings up. Recent debates over the validity
of basic scientific quality criteria (DORA, WCRI), such
as He Jiankui’s genome-editing experiments. AI in biotechnology
and digital health are left to other research communities.
And there is no apparent understanding of how to break up
the silos of disciplines and stakeholders, or how to disrupt
introspective narratives and mobilize a unified scientific
discourse that addresses the requirements of social needs
and theoretical potency. Notwithstanding its merits, Bioethics
as a model now appears to be an outdated concept. It is
high time to consider other options and innovative approaches
and to reclaim trust and responsibility of science, as a
sustainable value base for society.
This conference is designed to address these matters, from
different disciplines and perspectives, in an informal manner
in order to explore a narrative that allows us to depart
from the bioethics as we know it. It will be pro-active
in scenario building, for practical options and evaluation
of best practice models for an integrated science quality
governance approach. The deliberative discourse will aim
to advise capability building and quality enhancement in
terms of a general vision and inspire different disciplines
and specialties to participate and share.
The conference will be conducted for one full day, with
8 presentations from 3 medical practitioners and 5 philosophers.
The extensive discussion will be moderated and documented
to deliver concrete practical and theoretical outcomes.
A concluding roundtable discussion will focus on a general
assessment of the challenges, with an attempt to develop
structural propositions formulated towards a roadmap. Reference
to the framework of Global Health and the United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals will be made in context. This
trajectory should serve to engage other, likeminded initiatives
and prepare grounds for collaboration and future research