January 2, 2006
The Ethics and Public Policy Center is delighted to announce that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has selected EPPC to serve as a UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. “EPPC has been a leading voice on bioethics issues in this country,” said EPPC President M. Edward Whelan III. “We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our influence in the international arena and to work with UNESCO to promote bioethics principles that respect the dignity and equality of every human being. We thank both UNESCO and the U.S. National Commission on UNESCO.”
“The new UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the Ethics and Public Policy Center will make an important contribution to the international discourse on bioethics issues,” said UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Education, Peter Smith.
Eric Cohen, who directs EPPC’s program on Biotechnology and American Democracy and who is editor of The New Atlantis, EPPC’s quarterly journal of technology and society, will direct EPPC’s activities as UNESCO Chair. In his separate capacity as senior consultant to the President’s Council on Bioethics, Mr. Cohen has been a major contributor to all the major reports issued by the Council.
EPPC is the only entity in the United States to serve as a UNESCO Chair in Bioethics, and one of only a few such entities worldwide. EPPC is the first entity so designated by UNESCO since UNESCO’s adoption in October 2005 of its Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. One project that EPPC will undertake in its capacity as a UNESCO Chair in Bioethics is to promote serious exploration of the “social responsibility” and “sharing of benefits” provisions of that Universal Declaration.