2019.07.05-06 The Conference on the Ethics of Science & Technology and Sustainable Development

Reported by Shun-Lien Sung of TWiST

The Conference were open to the public. Main participants include IBC and COMEST members, and presidents of UNESCO-affiliated organizations, who were joined by observers from Member States of UNESCO; organizations of the United Nations system; international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations; invited experts and members of the general public.

*IBC: International Bioethics Committee
*COMEST: World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology

The objectives of the Conference are to provide an open forum for the exchange of idea and information on the ethics of science and technology and its implications to sustainable development and to create public awareness on the issue. The meeting also provides an opportunity for networking and future collaboration among participants and observers.

On 5-6 July 2019 in conjunction with the 26th Session of IBC and the 11th Session of COMEST, which were taken place during 2-7 July 2019 at the Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao in Bangkok, Thailand.

Secretary General of INWES, Prof. Jung Sun Kim, were notified by Moutaud Monique of France and seek the recommendation of Professor Chia-li Wu from the Asia-Pacific region to observe the “The Conference” in Bangkok.  So that Shun-Lien Sung, president of TWiST, was appointed (self-financing). She quickly booked the ticket and hotel in great deal and arrived in the Jul-4th evening and flew back to Taiwan at Jul-7th in the morning.

The opening ceremony hosted by Thai Princess Sirindhorn (the second princess of King Pomeran).  The 63-year-old Princess Sirindhorn dressed plainly and gave opening speech in fluent English. The princess breaks the stereotype that was my impression.

Follow up Deputy Director-General of UNESCO introduced science and technology ethics and sustainable development, speech connection. http://www.stethicsconference2019.net/

The conference is an annual working conference of the UNESCO Science and Technology Ethics Society, where interaction between people are limited. Participants are committee members so that there is no host reception. On the first day welcome reception based on invitation. We, INWES, did not receive the invitation. INWES registration information was recorded on the site, but organizer could not find INWES name tag and felt embarrassed. It seems that organizer did not aware of United Nations claimed Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women dated on December 18, 1979.

The development and research of new technologies will not be able to contribute to human beings when they are used by illicit motives; it is important to use ethical norms. Example of Jiankui He, a scientist from Shenzhen, China, used the “CRISPR/Cas9” gene editing technology were discussed. He claimed that successfully used gene editing technology to overcome diseases. However, the technology of genetically editing embryos is mostly not allowed. This is illegal in most parts of Europe and is banned in the United States. Because his research did not use public sector resources, it became a loophole in ethical norms. Although the registries for the projects were mentioned, it will still be a challenge.

The most impressed part is that during conference, there are young people drawing speakers’ speech on large poster in their own interpretation.  So that difference sections’ recorded as comic can be shared. These young people are not only owned painting skill, but also understand the conference theme.

GENOME Technology

Climate change

AI Technology

Comic poster exhibition area

Registration

INWES

About INWES
http://www.inwes.org/

INWES, the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists, is a world-wide network of women’s organization in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), representing over 200,000 women from about 45 countries. INWES is an official NGO partner of the operational type with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 2008 and of the consultative type with the United Nations, the Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) since 2017. The partnership of INWES with international organizations involves a dynamic cooperation to help women and girls worldwide to have access to education, especially in Science and Engineering.

The creation of INWES was initiated at the World Conference on Science for the 21st Century, convened by UNESCO and the International Council for Science in Budapest, where Article 90 was adopted encouraging efforts for the establishment of an international network of women scientists and engineers. A group of 20 women representing 10 countries and 8 organizations met in Canada, May 2001, to explore the creation of such a network. At ICWES12 in 2002, a unanimous vote gave rise to the creation of INWES. In April 2003, INWES was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of Canada, and in July 2005, the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea during ICWES13.

In 2008 at ICWES14, a need for a regional network was proposed at the board meeting. A workshop to initiate the Asian network was held in 2009 in Busan, Korea during the INWES regional conference. After three years, at ICWES15 in 2011, the Asia and Pacific Nation Network (APNN) successfully held its first general meeting in Adelaide, Australia. The African members also took effort in organizing a regional network and finally in 2014, the African Regional Network (ARN) had been launched at ICWES16 in 2014. Besides, The INWES Europe Regional network had its inaugural meeting in Switzerland on 18 September 2015 and became the third regional network of INWES 20 October 2015 during the meeting in Uganda. The constitutional meeting has been held in 2016 INWES regional conference in Freising, Germany.

The objectives of INWES are: to become an influential voice on STEM issues for the benefit of women, gender equity and society; to increase the presence of women in mainstream STEM decision-making bodies; to promote exchange of information, networking, advocacy and a wide range of global and regional projects; to expand the opportunities for education and activities in STEM through the INWES.

INWES is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a board of directors consisting of elected directors who represent organizations, corporations, university/institute, or individual memberships. The structure of INWES is shown in the following Figure.

目前顯示的是「相片記事」Figure. Structure of INWES

Ref.: Kong-joo Lee, INWES Triennial Report (2014-2017),May 13, 2018.