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.