Research environment

GEST: Global Ethics in Science and Technology 2011 - 2014

Funded by the European Commission, Framework 7

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GEST is a 3 year Collaborative Project with a total budget of 696,820 Euro, funded by the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 266592, 1 February 2011 - 31 May 2014.

Project Summary

GEST aims to explore the role of ethics in science and technology (S&T) policy as it is currently developing both in Europe and in the two main global emerging economies of China and India. S&T ethics has been widely debated in Europe in the last two decades leading to a number of policy initiatives that have influenced the development of new technologies.

At the same time Europe is increasingly co-operating and competing with the two major emerging economies of China and India, which are also keen to develop their S&T sectors.

Interdependences between these three global actors require ever closer collaboration, preferably undertaken in a highly transparent manner. However S&T debates in each of the three regions follow local dynamics that are not necessarily easily understood, even by expert communities in those regions. Interdependent development (and even positive competition) requires mutual respect and understanding, but this relies upon close collaboration in exploring common issues and significant differences.

GEST aims to create such collaboration between key S&T policy advisory institutes in the three regions in order to provide a clear understanding of the role of ethics in S&T debates.Three case studies of emerging technologies that instigate equally important public debates in Europe, China and India, will form the backbone of comparative analysis: Nanotechnologies, Food Technologies, and Synthetic Biology.

The main objective of GEST is to analyse the concepts and issues surrounding ethics in S&T in Europe and the two main technology-intensive emerging economies of China and India in order to create a robust debate that will directly inform science policy. GEST aims to:

  • Explore the state-of-the-art in the debates on ethics in S&T in the three regions with a focus on interdependent scientific developments in the areas of Nanotechnologies, Food Technologies, and Synthetic Biology.
  • Explore the social determinants of policymaking in the three regions in terms of public perceptions of risks and benefits, and lay morality.Instigate a best practice system of ethics analysis that can be applied equally well in each of the three regions.
  • Promote and support a global debate on the issue of the ethical and social implications of scientific and technological developments with a view to in forming national policies.
  • Create a high-level policy advisory network of experts from Europe, China and India in order to promote concrete collaboration in the area amongst the three regions.

GEST represents the first concerted effort to start a global debate that encompasses the main global actors. A group of experts with a wide disciplinary and geographical distribution will provide input on the dynamics of ethics in S&T policy.

Project Lead

Dr Miltos Ladikas

Project Staff

Julie Cook Lucas, Prof Doris Schroeder, Cathy Lennon

Project Partners

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Prof Michael Decker , Dr Leo Hennen, Dr Arnold Sauter, Torsten Fleischer

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Email | Web

Rathenau Institute logo

Jan Staman, Prof Frans Brom, Dr Rinie van Est, Dr Dirk Stemerding, Virgil Rerimassie

Rathenau Institute, The Netherlands
Email | Web

Casted logo

Dr Zhao Yandong , Ying Ma, Dr Wenxia Zhang

Institute of Science, Technology and Society, Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED), Beijing, China
Email | Web

Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) logo

Dr Biswajit Dhar, Dr Sachin Chaturvedi, Dr Ravi Srinivas

Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), New Delhi, India
Email | Web

External Advisors

  • Dr Rafael Capurro , Director, Steinbeis-Transfer-Institut Information Ethics, Germany.
  • Dr Nanyan Cao, Professor of School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tshinghua University, China.
  • Prof. Pranav Desai, Chairman, Centre for Science Policy Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
  • Dr Duoyi Fei, Director of the editorial office of Studies in Dialectics of Nature, Chinese Society for Dialectics of Nature.

  • Dr Dafna Feinholz, Chief, Bioethics Section, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO.
  • Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy, Former Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, India.
  • Wim van Velzen, Former member of parliament of the Netherlands, former member of the European Parliament, former chairman of the Rathenau Institute, the Netherlands.
  • Prof Huanming Yang, Director, Beijing Institute of Genomics, China

Project Meetings

Project Kick-off Meeting

GEST Project Kick-off Meeting

Project partners and participants at the Project Kick-off meeting hosted by the Rathenau Institute in the Hague, 31 March - 1 April 2011
Hague Meeting Agenda (.docx 207KB)

Second Plenary Meeting

Second Plenary Meeting

Project group at a meeting hosted by the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, in the UK, 15 - 16 March 2012
Preston Meeting Agenda (.docx 236KB)

Third Plenary Meeting

Third Plenary Meeting

Project group at a meeting hosted by CASTED, Beijing, 4-5 September 2012
Beijing Meeting Agenda (.docx 210KB)

Project output and key publications

Please view our GEST Project Brochure (.pdf 706KB)

Deliverable D1.1 (January 2012) Ethics State of the Art: EU Debate
D1.1 report (.pdf 2.7MB)

Deliverable D1.2 (May 2012) Ethics State of the Art: State of Debate in the Three Regions
D1.2 report (.pdf 1.1MB)

Deliverable D2.1 (January 2013) Decision Making Structures in the Three Regions
D2.1 report (.pdf 548KB)

Project Newsletters

Issue 5 (.pdf 522KB)

Issue 4 (.pdf 710KB)

Issue 3 (.pdf 504KB)

Issue 2 (.pdf 626KB)

Issue 1 (.pdf 278KB)



Further Information

For more information contact:
Julie Cook Lucas
Project Manager
+44 (0)1772 892549
Centre for Professional Ethics
Brook 317
School of Health
University of Central Lancashire

Cordis SSH :
Europa SSH :

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