Reconciling Ethics and Science
Giovanni Berlinguer has been a Professor of Social Medicine at the University of Sassari and of Occupational Health at Rome's University "La Sapienza".
He is President of the National Committee of Bioethics.
"No restrictions must be placed on scientific knowledge", he
1. "The scientist has a responsibility to inform" (Giovanni Berlinguer).
Others, however, thought that scientists should be given freedom to research - "without freedom there is no creativity" (Giovanni Berlinguer) - and that politicians, and not scientists themselves, should be responsible for the application of their discoveries.
5. "The feedback loop [between science, technology and capital investment] has meant that science has become the handmaiden of industry.
Research is expensive and governments have begun to leave the funding of science to private industry.
The latter wants science that boosts its own, not humanity's interests, so poor-country diseases like malaria go untreated.
proposed that the international community should step in in such cases, and that an increase in government funding is needed to correct market failures.
said, "Big business is destructive because it is absent, not because it is present," which raises the issue of the desirability of business involvement in the public sphere.
6. "Fewer laws, more policing.
(Giovanni Berlinguer) The need for regulation was a prominent theme.
Industrialist Sergio Dompé lauded the US's Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), which is a trusted, reliable institution which efficiently intervenes in many areas.
suggested Italy look to the FDA
model - industry does not want to act in an unregulated way but wants to know the rules and how far it can go.
called for controls to be set in a democratic way.
was questioned on the ethics of Professor Antinori's human cloning pronouncements.