New centre to foster global conversations about ethical issues raised by science
10th December 2021
The University of Cambridge and Wellcome Connecting Science announce the launch of the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public, to engage publics and scientists with the ethical implications of scientific discovery and its impact on society.
Major scientific breakthroughs deepen our understanding of nature and ourselves. Such discoveries have the potential to transform our everyday lives.
Yet the same science that holds promise for progress often raises concerns and questions for society.
Who bears responsibility for the societal and ethical implications of scientific discoveries? When and how should wider public views be brought into discussion about the direction of scientific research, its benefits and risks? How can members of the public, ethicists and scientists be empowered to take part in meaningful and constructive dialogue? And what can we do to help researchers negotiate a path through these complexities?
The new Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with Wellcome Connecting Science, will tackle these critical questions.
Professor Anna Middleton, inaugural Director of the Kavli Centre for Ethics, Science, and the Public at the University of Cambridge and Associate Director for Engagement and Society in Wellcome Connecting Science, said: “From the discovery of DNA to the development of the first artificial intelligence, and to the sequencing of 20 per cent of the world’s COVID virus today, Cambridge is at the cutting edge of science, and has been for centuries. This is truly a place where the big questions get explored. Through collaboration with experts in popular culture we will find the evidence base to drive conversations with everyday people around the ethical issues raised by science, so that all of us can share in decision making around the implications of science for society.”