On June 14, the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare designated the Ewha Institute for Law & Bioethics (EILB) as the Bioethics Policy Research Center (BPRC). The dedication ceremony for the BPRC was held on July 5 in the Law Building.
? guess that the main reason the EILB was selected as a national research center is because the EILB has had many scholars who are very experienced and prominent in bioethics and life science,?said Professor Choi Kyung-suk (Law).
The EILB was established on August 1, 2005 to research whether the nation? current bioethics policies are appropriate for life science and biotechnology research from moral and legal perspectives. From now on, as a national research center, the BPRC will function as an information center that provides researchers, officials, and citizens with bioethics education programs and policies to make them understand what bioethics is and why it is important. Moreover, the BPRC will consult specialists in every field and gather data about effective policies to make life science and biotechnology research proceed ethically and safely. Furthermore, the BPRC will present the government with proper bioethics guidelines, and cooperate with international bioethics research centers.
?efore this selection, there weren? proper channels to exchange opinions and information about bioethics; however, with the BPRC as a communication portal, scientists, ethicists, government, and international academics will have access to the information,?said Professor Choi.
To provide an opportunity to share experiences in bioethics education among Asia/Pacific countries, the BPRC and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO co-hosted the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Conference on Bioethics Education from July 26 to 28, with 60 experts, scholars, middle and high school teachers, and policy makers on bioethics in the region. During the three-day conference, there were many workshops concerning promotion of bioethics education and environmental ethics.
?orea? bioethics education is still at its infant stage compared with that of other countries. However, the optimistic prospect is that there were many middle and high school teachers who voluntarily came to the conference with interest. I expect that there will be various active trials and practices of Korea? bioethics education,?said Professor Choi.