‘…although we have seen public trust in scientists increase during the covid-19 pandemic, we need to build on this trust and find ways to engage others who may not want to be part of the debate.’
The UK’s University of Cambridge along with Wellcome Connecting Science have launched the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science and the Public. The Centre, said to be a unique collaboration between the two organisations, with funding from the US-based Kavli Foundation, aims to engage the public and scientists with the ethical implications of scientific discovery and its impact on society.
The Centre will be hosted within the University Of Cambridge Faculty Of Education, as well as at Wellcome Connecting Science building on the Wellcome Genome Campus, near Cambridge. It is said that the Centre will ‘…foster global conversations and pursue fundamentally new ways to build and create…interaction on the ethical issues associated with scientific discovery.’ Initially a programme of innovative research and public engagement will focus on three rapidly changing fields: genome editing, artificial intelligence and big data.’
The Centre will be a hub for debate on a number of ethical issues including: ‘Who bears responsibility for the societal and ethical implications of scientific discoveries?’ And; ‘How can members of the public, ethicists and scientists be empowered to take part in meaningful and constructive dialogue?’
Dr Julia Wilson, Associate Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute said; ‘The Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science and the Public, will result in further meaningful dialogues between scientists and the public across a much wider range of science disciplines. This is increasingly important, as although we have seen public trust in scientists increase during the covid-19 pandemic, we need to build on this trust and find ways to engage others who may not want to be part of the debate.’