Genome Editing and Human Dignity: Comparative Perspectives, September 10-11 2020

With generous support from the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, this series of meetings launched the work of the Global Observatory for Genome Editing. The purpose: to seek input and advice from an international group of distinguished scholars, scientists, legal experts, policy practitioners, and civil society representatives who will inform the initial agenda for the Observatory. 

Session 1 (September 10, 8:30-10:30 ET): Legal Definitions and Protections of the Human

  • Constitutional Foundations: How are varied conceptions of the human—for instance, of human rights, dignity and integrity— informing approaches to ethical evaluation and governance of biotechnology in different jurisdictions? What entitlements and obligations are associated with those conceptions? What are key areas of conflict, contestation or change within the jurisdiction(s) with which you are most familiar?
  • Regulatory Frameworks: How are different regulatory regimes and cultures approaching the regulation of human genome editing? What is the scope and limit of extant regulatory authority (e.g., safety and efficacy)? What ideas of public good, public welfare, state police powers, including protection of ethics and moral order, warrant or legitimize that authority? Are there perceived gaps in state regulatory powers?

Session 1 participants:

Aziza Ahmed, Northeastern University 
Elizabeth Bartholet, Harvard Law School 
Francoise Baylis, Dalhousie University
Alena Buyx, Technische Universität München 
Hervé Chneiweiss, Institut de Biologie, Université Paris-Seine
I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School
George Daley, Harvard Medical School
Jim Dratwa, European Commission
Timo Faltus, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Hans Petter Graver, University of Oslo; Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
Stephen Hilgartner, Cornell University
Ben Hurlbut, Arizona State University
Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School
Willy Lensch, Harvard Medical School
Laurence Lwoff, Committee on Bioethics, Council of Europe

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Peter Mills, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, UK
Antonio Mori Monteiro, Robert Bosch Academy
Jane Qiu, science journalist, Beijing
Richard Rottenburg, LOST Research Group; University of the Witwatersrand 
Krishanu Saha, University of Wisconsin
Matthew Sample, Harvard Kennedy School
Carter Snead, Notre Dame Law School
Alistair Sponsel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Harvard Kennedy School
Carrie Wolinetz, NIH
Xiaomei Zhai, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences; Peking Union Medical College

Session 2 (September 10, 11:00-1:00 ET): Public Engagement and Deliberation

  • The Public Voice: How has civil society been included or inserted itself into public debates? What forms of mobilization have occurred and where? With what consequences, if any? What constraints are placed on public engagement and deliberation (e.g., input only from “invited” publics, only through ethics committees, etc.)?
  • Silences and Exclusions: Which significant areas of convergence and divergence in participatory practices emerge from cross-jurisdictional comparisons? What gaps, if any, have been identified in current public discourse? Have any groups or interests been systematically excluded?

Session 2 participants:

Francoise Baylis, Dalhousie University
Peter Dabrock, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Hervé Chneiweiss, Institut de Biologie, Université Paris-Seine
Ine van Hoyweghen, KU Leuven
Timothy D. Hunt
Ben Hurlbut, Arizona State University
Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School
Matthias Kaiser, University of Bergen
Matthias Kaufmann, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg 
Sang-Hyun Kim, Hanyang University
Brice Laurent, Mines ParisTech
Shai Lavi, Vanleer Institute, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv University

Katherine Littler, World Health Organization
Laurence Lwoff, Committee on Bioethics, Council of Europe
Peter Mills, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, UK
Jia Ping, Health Governance Initiative, Beijing
Jane Qiu, science journalist, Beijing
Mathias Risse, Harvard Kennedy School
Krishanu Saha, University of Wisconsin
Matthew Sample, Harvard Kennedy School
Nora Schultz, Ethikrat (German Ethics Council)
Erik Sontheimer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Alistair Sponsel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Harvard Kennedy School 
Giuseppe Testa, Instituto Europeo di Oncologia
Carrie Wolinetz, NIH

Session 3 (September 11, 9:30-11:30 ET): Extant Institutions and their Limitations

  • National and International Bioethics: What role have national bioethics bodies played in framing and/or facilitating deliberation? What role have international bodies played in framing debates and developing consensus at supranational levels? How do they identify and convene relevant voices, and based on what authority? What major gaps exist in their jurisdiction, authority and capacity to influence policies?
  • Expertise and Democracy: Who are the recognized experts in this emerging domain of science and technology? What role have these experts played in shaping the terms and scope of public deliberation, whether at national or international levels? Through what principal forums or processes have they given guidance, and to whom? In what ways, if any, have expert judgments been subject to contestation and controversy? What tensions, if any, have emerged between scientific self-regulation and other forms of oversight?

Session 3 participants:

Francoise Baylis, Dalhousie University
Robin Celikates, Freie Universität Berlin
Hervé Chneiweiss, Institut de Biologie, Université Paris-Seine
Dafna Feinholz, UNESCO
Andy Greenfield, MRC Harwell Institute
Ingo Härtel, Federal Ministry of Health, Germany
Ben Hurlbut, Arizona State University
Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School
Douglas Kysar, Yale Law School
Laurence Lwoff, Committee on Bioethics, Council of Europe
Ruth Mampuys, COGEM (Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification) 
Peter Mills, Nuffield Council on Bioethics, UK
Siobhán O’Sullivan, Ireland Department of Health; Council of Europe
Julia Propp, Robert Bosch Academy

Jane Qiu, science journalist, Beijing
Krishanu Saha, University of Wisconsin
Matthew Sample, Harvard Kennedy School
Bettina Schöne-Seifert, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Nora Schultz, Ethikrat (German Ethics Council)
Alistair Sponsel, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Harvard Kennedy School 
Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago
Patricia Williams, Northeastern University School of Law
David Winickoff, OECD
Carrie Wolinetz, NIH
Christiane Woopen, Universität zu Köln
Fra. Augusto Zampini, Vatican

Participant biographies

Aziza Ahmed is professor of law at Northeastern University. Her scholarship examines the legal, regulatory and political environments regarding health in US domestic law, US foreign policy and international law. She was formerly a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health Program on International Health and Human Rights. She came to that position after a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). Professor Ahmed has consulted with various United Nations agencies and international and domestic non-governmental organizations. She was a member of the Technical Advisory Group on HIV and the Law convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has been an expert for many institutions, including the American Bar Association and UNDP. In addition to her BA and JD, Professor Ahmed holds an MS in population and international health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Elizabeth Bartholet is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program, which she founded in the fall of 2004. She teaches civil rights and family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology. Before joining the Harvard faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues. Bartholet earned a B.A. from Radcliffe College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Françoise Baylis is University Research Professor at Dalhousie University. She was one of the organizers of, and a key participant in, the 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing. Currently, she is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global s=Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing. In 2019, she published Altered Inheritance: CRISPR and the Ethics of Human Genome Editing. Baylis is a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, as well as a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Alena Buyx is Professor of Ethics in Medicine and Health Technologies and Director of the Institute of History and Ethics in Medicine at Technical University Munich. She has previously held appointments at the University of Kiel, University of Münster; Harvard University, and University College London; and she was Assistant Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, London. Professor Buyx is a medical doctor with postgraduate degrees in philosophy and sociology. Her research spans the field of biomedical and public health ethics, with a particular focus on ethics of medical innovation and health technologies, research ethics, questions of solidarity and justice in contexts such as public health and health care provision, and novel participatory approaches in biomedicine and beyond. She has been a member of the German Ethics Council since 2016. In 2019, she was appointed to the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing.

Robin Celikates is Professor of Social Philosophy at the Free University Berlin and deputy director of the Center for Humanities and Social Change. Before moving to FU in 2019, he taught at the University of Amsterdam and was a Member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is Commissioning Editor of the journal Critical Times: Interventions in Global Critical Theory (Duke UP) and publishes widely on critical theory, democracy and social movements (see https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/RobinCelikates).

Hervé Chneiweiss is the Director of the Neuroscience Paris Seine research unit, where he studies molecular mechanisms involved in glial plasticity and underlying brain tumor development. In addition to his work on brain tumors, he is passionate about the questions raised by research progress. He was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the French Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Options (Opecst) from 2003 to 2015 and has been Chairman of the Inserm (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) Ethics Committee since 2013, Chneiweiss was appointed to the WHO expert panel in January 2019. He was also elected Chairman of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee in July 2019. 

I. Glenn Cohen is the James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the faculty director of Harvard’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics. He is a leading expert on the intersection of bioethics and the law, as well as health law. His current projects relate to big data, health information technologies, mobile health, reproduction/reproductive technology, research ethics, organ transplantation, rationing in law and medicine, health policy, FDA law, translational medicine, and to medical tourism. He is the author of more than 150 articles and chapters and the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of more than 15 books. He is one of three editors-in-chief of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, a peer-reviewed journal published by Oxford University Press and serves on the editorial board for the American Journal of Bioethics. He served on the Steering Committee for Ethics for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian counterpart to the NIH, and the Ethics Committee for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). He currently serves on the Ethics Committee of the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).

Peter Dabrock is Professor of Systematic Theology (Ethics) at the Department of Theology of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and was Chairman of the German Ethics Council from 2016 until recently. His research focuses on the ethics of technical and (bio)scientific interference with human life forms (from germline intervention to AI). He is particularly interested in questions of social justice, human dignity and corporality. From 2002 to 2008, he was Junior Professor of Bioethics at the Philipps University of Marburg, where he was also Professor of Social Ethics until 2010; he declined a call to the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2015. In addition, he was a member of the Central Ethics Committee of the German Medical Association from 2004 to 2013 and a member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies from 2011 to 2016. In 2011, he was ordained pastor (honorary) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria; from 2012-2020 he was a board member of the German Ethics Council. In 2017 he became the first theologian to become a member of Acatech, the German Academy of Science and Engineering. He is co-editor of the “Zeitschrift für Evangelische Ethik” and has published numerous books and articles.

George Daley is dean of Harvard Medical School and the Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at HMS. An internationally recognized leader in stem cell science and cancer biology, his research focuses on the use of mouse and human disease models to identify mechanisms that underlie blood disorders and cancer. Beyond his research, Daley has been a principal figure in developing international guidelines for conducting stem cell research and for the clinical translation of stem cells, particularly through his work with the International Society for Stem Cell Research, for which he has served in several leadership positions, including president (2007-08). He has testified before Congress and spoken in forums worldwide on the scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research and its promise in treating disease.

Jim Dratwa heads the team tasked with Ethics in Science and New Technologies and is also in charge of the EGE (the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies) at the European Commission. He is the Secretary-General of the EC International Dialogue on Ethics and Bioethics, and the EC representative in the international organisations dealing with the ethics and governance of new technologies. His research and publications address the interconnections between knowledge, values and action. He has served in several positions of responsibility in that regard at the European Commission, as member of BEPA (the Bureau of European Policy Advisers to the President), at the EPSC (the European Political Strategy Centre) and in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. He holds degrees in physics, philosophy, politics and the life sciences, received the Fulbright Scholar Award, was Harvard Boas Fellow, Ramón y Cajal Scholar, and pre- and post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and with the Program on Science, Technology, and Society. He has taught at the Ecole des Mines de Paris, Sciences Po Paris, Harvard University, and the universities of Brussels. He is Professor of Philosophy and of Science and Technologies Studies at the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Under the Obama administration, he was made Global Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, whose fellows are chosen based on their record of achievement as authorities in their field.

Timo Faltus belongs to the law faculty at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. He studied Biology and Law at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. In the context of his studies in biology, he specialised in molecular genetics and cell culture. In this field, he wrote his diploma thesis at University Clinic for Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Frankfurt am Main on inhibition of expression of cancer relevant genes by RNA interference (RNAi). Within legal studies, he has focused on medical law, gene/biotechnology law, environmental law as well as intellectual property (IP) law. He was a scholar at the Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) in Leipzig, Germany, and worked as a research fellow at the Chair for Public Law of Prof. Dr. iur. Winfried Kluth at Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. During this time, he focused on legal issues in the fields of stem cell research and stem cell medicine, especially regarding induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). He was also concerned with legal questions related to the fields of gene therapy and reproductive medicine. He has investigated different methods to artificially generate stem cells, in particular direct reprogramming to generate iPS cells.His interdisciplinary dissertation looks at the legal status of reprogrammed stem cells, the legal and regulatory handling of such cells, and the meaning of reprogrammed cells for the legal system. Since October 2016, Faltus is a research fellow and project coordinator of the joint research project „GenomELECTION“, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Dafna Feinholz is UNESCO’s Chief of Bioethics and Ethics of Science and Technology (Division of Youth, Ethics and Sports at the  Social and Human Sciences Sector). A psychologist and bioethicist by training, she previously worked as as a researcher in charge of reproductive epidemiology department, and was a member of the Mexican Research Council, she was the Director of the Women and Health Program in Mexico, the Academic Coordinator of the Mexican National Commission of the Human Genome, and Executive Director of the Mexican National Commission of Bioethics until she joined the UNESCO in 2009. From 2000-2006, she was Founder and Chair of the Latin American Forum for Ethics Committees for Health Research (FLACEIS), an organisation supported by the WHO. In her work for UNESCO, she helps set up and support national ethics committees and ethics committee training around the world.

Hans Petter Graver is Professor of Law at the University of Oslo and president of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. His research encompasses a broad range of issues within law, sociology of law and legal theory. He is the author of one of the primary textbooks in Norwegian administrative law, and has written books and articles on European law and its impact in national law, particularly on the division between the market and the public sector. His most recent interest has been in legal argumentation, legal ethics and the judicial role when the rule of law is challenged by authoritarianism. His most recent books are Judges Against Justice On Judges when the Rule of Law is Under Attack (Springer 2015) and The Judges’ War, and (in Norwegian) The German Occupation 1940-1945 and the Rule of Law in Norway (Pax 2015). 

Andy Greenfield is Programme Leader, UK MRC Harwell. He is a developmental geneticist who leads a program of research at the UK Medical Research Council’s Harwell Institute. He uses genome editing in his research, which investigates the biology of mammalian sexual development. Andy also takes an interest in broader ethical, regulatory and political themes raised by genome editing in a number of contexts. He is a former member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the Academies Commission on heritable human genome editing. He was recently appointed to the new UK Regulatory Horizons Council.

Ingo Härtel holds a doctorate in medicine from the Charité, Berlin and an MA in bioethics from the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University, Washington, DC. His current position is that of Deputy Head of the Division for ‘Health Law, Patients’ Rights, Patient Safety’ at the German Federal Ministry of Health. Previously, he worked for the office of the Enquete Commission “Law and Ethics in Modern Medicine” at the German Bundestag. He is the Joint Chair of the Steering Committee for the Global Ministerial Summits on Patient Safety and represents Germany in the Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC) of UNESCO and in the Bioethics Committee of the Council of Europe (DH-BIO) where he serves as Rapporteur on Genomics and Genetics.

Stephen Hilgartner is professor of Science and Technology Studies at Cornell University. He studies the social dimensions and politics of contemporary and emerging science and technology, especially in the life sciences. His research focuses on situations in which scientific knowledge is implicated in establishing, contesting, and maintaining social order–a theme he has examined in studies of expertise, property formation, risk disputes, and biotechnology. His most recent book, Reordering Life: Knowledge and Control in the Genomics Revolution (MIT Press, 2017), examines how new knowledge and new regimes of control took shape during the Human Genome Project. He is also a co-editor of two recent books: Science & Democracy: Making Knowledge and Making Power in the Biosciences and Beyond (Routledge, 2015) and Handbook of Genomics, Health and Society (Routledge, 2018). Hilgartner is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ine van Hoyweghen is Research Professor at the Centre for Sociological Research (KU Leuven) where she directs the Life Sciences & Society Lab. She is an internationally-renowned researcher in sociology of biomedicine, science and technology studies (STS), and sociology of health care innovation. Her main research activities concentrate on the social aspects and implications of biomedicine (genomics, digital health, personalised medicine). She publishes among other issues on topics such as genetic discrimination, behaviour-based personalisation, solidarity in Personalised Medicine, EU digital health innovation policies, health care delivery of genetic testing, epigenetics, citizen science, and global health innovation. She is the PI of the project “Postgenomic Solidarity. European Life Insurance in the Era of Personalised Medicine”, for which she received a prestigious Odysseus grant by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Her recent work centers on the role of personalized medicine in reconfiguring identities, responsibilities and solidarity. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences (2004) from KU Leuven and is the author of many books, including Risks in the Making: Travels in Life Insurance and Genetics (Amsterdam University Press, 2007) and Shifting Solidarities. Trends and Developments in European Societies (2019, Palgrave, with V. Pulignano).

Timothy D. Hunt is an executive with more than 20 years of experience in the field of biotechnology . Most recently, he served as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Editas Medicine. He joined Editas Medicine in January 2016 and oversaw global policy, early-stage commercial planning and market development, government affairs, human resources, and corporate communications. He has served as Chair of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy’s (ASGCT) Government Relations Committee. He has been a member of BIO’s Human Genome Editing Working Group (staff), the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine’s Gene Editing Task Force, and the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy’s Advisory Group on Value-Based Payment for Medical Products. He currently serves on the ASGCT Ethics Committee and the ASGCT Government Relations Committee. Prior to joining Editas Medicine, Tim was Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Cubist Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest developer of antibiotics to combat superbugs, until the company was acquired by Merck in 2015. At Cubist, he oversaw global policy, government affairs, and communications. Before joining Cubist, Tim spent several years at Biogen Idec as Vice President of Public Affairs. He received his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America and his B.A. in History and Philosophy from Boston College. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization Life Sciences Cares and is a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of Spero Therapeutics.

J. Benjamin Hurlbut is Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He is trained in science and technology studies (STS) with a focus on the history of the modern biomedical and life sciences, and his research lies at the intersection of STS, bioethics and political theory. He studies the changing relationships between science, politics and law in the governance of biomedical research and innovation, examining the interplay of science and technology with democracy, religious and moral pluralism, and public reason. He is the author of Experiments in Democracy: Human Embryo Research and the Politics of Bioethics (Columbia University Press, 2017) and co-editor of Perfecting Human Futures: Transhuman Visions and Technological Imaginations, (Dordrecht: Springer, 2016), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. He holds an A.B. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 120 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, Designs on Nature, The Ethics of Invention, and Can Science Make Sense of Life?. Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies. She founded and directs the STS Program at Harvard; previously, she was founding chair of the STS Department at Cornell. She has held distinguished visiting appointments at leading universities in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US. Jasanoff served on the AAAS Board of Directors and as President of the Society for Social Studies of Science. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her honors include the SSRC’s Hirschman prize, the Humboldt Foundation’s Reimar-Lüst award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ehrenkreuz from the Government of Austria. She is a member of the Royal Danish Academy and corresponding fellow of the British Academy. She holds A.B., J.D., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard, and honorary doctorates from the Universities of Twente and Liège.

Matthias Kaiser is Professor at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities (SVT) at the University of Bergen, and Prof. II at the NTNU in Trondheim, having studied at the universities of Munich, Oslo, Stanford and Frankfurt. His areas of expertise include: philosophy of science (Dr.phil.), ethics of science, technology assessment and science-for-policy. He is also an Affiliated Fellow at the Koi Tū Centre for Informed Futures at the University of Auckland.

Matthias Kaufmann is professor of ethics at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. He studied mathematics, philosophy and political science. For his dissertation “Law without Rule? The Philosophical Principles in Carl Schmitt’s Doctrine of State and Law,” he received the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Prize in 1988. In 1992 he completed his habilitation with a thesis on “Reference and Truth in Wilhelm von Ockham.” He has held the professorship for ethics at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg since 1995, and since 2008 he has headed the graduate school “Society and Culture in Motion.” His main research interests include ethics, applied ethics, political philosophy, legal philosophy and philosophy of language in the Middle Ages and in the 20th century.

Sang-Hyun Kim is associate professor at the Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture, Hanyang University, Korea, and is currently involved in the HK Transnational Humanities Project funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea. His research interests revolve around the history and cultural politics of science and technology (and of the social sciences) in twentieth-century Korea, the politics of knowledge and expertise, and critical development studies. Kim holds a D.Phil. in materials chemistry from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science from the University of Edinburgh. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 2007 to 2009. During that time, he was co-investigator on the NSF-funded project, “Sociotechnical Imaginaries and Science & Technology Policy: A Cross-National Comparison.”

Douglas Kysar is Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His teaching and research areas include torts, animal law, environmental law, climate change, products liability, and risk regulation. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Indiana University in 1995 and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1998. He has published articles on a wide array of environmental law and tort law topics, and is co-author of two leading casebooks, The Torts Process (9th ed. 2017) and Products Liability: Problems and Process (8th ed. 2016). In addition to his many articles and chapters, Kysar’s monograph, Regulating from Nowhere: Environmental Law and the Search for Objectivity (Yale University Press, 2010), seeks to reinvigorate animal and environmental protection by offering novel theoretical insights on standing and inclusion, cost-benefit analysis, the precautionary principle, and sustainable development.

Brice Laurent is researcher at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation, Mines ParisTech. He focuses on the relationships between the making of science and the construction of democratic order. Using an approach based on Science and Technology Studies, his work analyzes sites (within regulatory, standardization or expertise arenas) where scientific objectivity and democratic legitimacy are questioned together. He graduated from the Ecole des Mines and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He is a State engineer and teaches at Sciences Po Paris. In 2008, he joined the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation where he wrote his dissertation on nanotechnology (Democracies on Trial. Assembling Nanotechnology and Its Problems). In this work, the problematization of nanotechnology in Europe and the United-States, in places such as science museums, public debates or regulatory arenas, appears as a trial for contemporary democracies.

Shai Lavi is the director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, a professor in the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv University, and the co-director of the Minerva Center for the Study of End of Life. He earned his first and second degrees in law and sociology at Tel Aviv University and his doctorate in law at the University of California, Berkeley. His area of specialization is the sociology of law and legal theory; he explores bioethical issues from historical and contemporary perspectives, with an emphasis on the use of technology in the beginning of life and at its end. He also engages in comparative research—in Germany, Turkey, and Israel—on issues related to legal regulation of the body and the tension between religion and secularity. Prof. Lavi is a member of the National Helsinki Committee (IRB) for Medical Research of Israel’s Ministry of Health. His book on the end of life, The Modern Art of Dying: A History of Euthanasia in the United States, won the 2006 Sociology of Law Distinguished Scholarly Book Award of the American Sociological Association. 

Willy Lensch is Readiness and Strategic Advisor in the office of the dean at Harvard Medical School. Before joining the HMS administration, Lensch served as executive director of the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. There, his experience in research, education, administration, science policy, intellectual property, science consulting and outreach all combined to support and advance stem cell science and discovery at Harvard. From 2001-2013, Lensch’s research used human pluripotent stem cells to study blood development and rare genetic diseases. He is co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, book chapters and policy recommendations, and he has presented at more than 200 lectures, medical grand rounds, interviews and panel discussions, mainly on stem cell research, ethics, history and policy. Lensch earned his Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Katherine Littler is Co-Lead of the World Health Organization’s Global Health Ethics & Governance Unit. She has extensive experience in global health ethics, research, governance and policy. In October 2018, she joined the Global Health Ethics Team at the World Health Organization in Geneva as Senior Ethics Specialist and Co-lead. Current areas of focus include: emerging technologies, particularly human genome editing; genomics; human challenge studies; and epidemic preparedness and response. Prior to this, she co-led the Global Policy Team at Wellcome. She has a background in medical law and ethics and during her time at Wellcome provided strategic advice on regulatory, governance and ethical issues. She led a programme of work focusing on research ethics, global governance and advocacy, epidemic preparedness, genomics and emerging technologies, and evidence into policy. She has sat on many oversight bodies, including: the PHE Ebola Governance Group; the IDDO Ebola Platform Steering Committee; the H3Africa Ethics and Regulatory Working Group and she was the chair of the GLOPID-R data sharing working group.

Laurence Lwoff is Head of Bioethics Unit (DGI – Human Rights Directorate) and Secretary of the Committee on Bioethics (DH-BIO), intergovernmental committee in charge of the activities on the protection of human rights in the biomedical field, at the Council of Europe. She joined the Council of Europe in 1991, where she was entrusted with the responsibilities of the Secretariat of the Conventions concerning the use of animals in agriculture and science, in the Directorate of Legal Affairs. In 1999, her responsibilities were extended to biotechnology. She was the Secretary of the International Conference of the Council of Europe on Ethical Issues Arising from the Applications of Biotechnology (Oviedo, Spain, May 1999). In 2002, she joined the Bioethics Department where she has been responsible in particular for the activities on human genetics and on the protection of the human embryo and the foetus. She was the Secretary of the Group in charge of the elaboration of the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, concerning Genetic Testing for Health Purposes. She holds a M.Sc. in reproductive physiology from the University of Paris VI – Jussieu (France). She then obtained her degree in agronomy from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon (France) in 1986 and received her Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1989.

Ruth Mampuys is coordinator of the subcommittee on Ethics and Societal Aspects at the Netherlands Commission on Genetic Modification (COGEM). COGEM is an independent scientific advisory body of the Dutch government that advises on the risks of GMOs to human health and the environment, and informs the relevant ministries of ethical and societal issues linked to genetic modification. During her career at COGEM, she has written policy reports about a broad variety of topics related to GMOs, ranging from sustainability of GM crops, GMOs and art, socio-economic aspects of GM crops, ethical and legal aspects of human germline modification and international differences in GMO legislation. She also attended and presented at a variety of international conferences and workshops. In 2020 she will defend her Ph.D. thesis “The deadlock in GM crop authorisations in Europe as a wicked problem by design. A need for repoliticisation of the decision-making process” at the Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her academic work has been published in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, the Journal of Responsible Innovation and the Journal of Law, Innovation and Technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a master’s degree in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society (PSTS).

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is a Professor of Political Science and Former Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University. He was previously President, Center for Policy Research. He has been a Professor at Harvard, JNU, the Global Faculty Program at NYU Law School. He has published widely in political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy, and international affairs. He has served on many central government committees, including India’s National Security Advisory Board, the Prime Minister of India’s National Knowledge Commission, and a Supreme Court-appointed committee on elections in Indian universities. Mehta is a prolific writer; he is an editorial consultant to the Indian Express, and his columns have appeared in dailies including the Financial Times, the Telegraph, the International Herald Tribune, and the Hindu. He is also on the editorial boards of many academic journals, including the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Democracy, and India and Global Affairs. He holds a B.A. (first class) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton. He received the 2010 Malcom S. Adishehshiah Award and the 2011 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences – Political Science.


Pete Mills
is currently Assistant Director at the UK’s Nuffield Council on Bioethics, where he directs the Council’s work programme on genome editing – see Genome editing: an ethical review (2016) and Genome editing and Human Reproduction: social and ethical issues (2018).  His latest project relates to genome editing in farmed animals. Earlier work led to reports on Emerging Biotechnologies (2012) and Data in Biomedical Research and Health Care (2015).  He read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford, and has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Warwick. He has previously held positions at the UK Department of Health and the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority. From 2007-10 he was head of the secretariat of the UK’s Human Genetics Commission. He has been involved with a number of organisations including the UNESCO Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Biotechnology, and he currently represents the UK on the Council of Europe Bioethics Committee (DH-BIO).

Antonio Mori Monteiro is Project Manager at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.

Siobhán O’Sullivan is the Chief Bioethics Officer at the Department of Health and is responsible for drafting policy advice and legislative instruments on bioethics related issues. She is also Professor in the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, where she teaches Healthcare Ethics and Law and is involved in curriculum development. From 2002-2010, she was Director of the Irish Council for Bioethics, an independent, autonomous body to consider the ethical issues raised by developments in science and medicine. She is the vice-chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science & New Technologies, an independent, multidisciplinary body advising the European Commission in connection with Community legislation or policies. She is a former member of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Irish Government’s high-level advisory body on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy issues. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm in 1998 and holds a Masters in Healthcare Ethics and law and a Masters in Human Rights Law.

Jia Ping is Executive Director of Health Governance Initiative, a civic think tank based in Beijing. He is also an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas, a guest professor at Kunming Medical University, and a senior research fellow at Sichuan University Center for Study of Human Rights Law and the Center for Study of Bioethics at Peking Union Medical College. He was previously a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. From 2014 to 2016, Jia Ping served as a board member of AIDSPAN, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund. He was the China Country Coordinate Mechanism Representative of the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria from 2007 to 2009. He is currently a board member of the China Bioethics Association and the Academic Expert Committee of China HIV/AIDS & STD Association. A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, he received his B.A. from East China University of Political Science and Law and his M.A. from Renmin University Law School.

Julia Propp is Senior Project Manager at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin.

Jane Qiu is an award-winning science writer in Beijing, contributing to publications such as Nature, Science, The Economist, STAT, and Scientific American. She received a Ph.D. in cancer genetics in Scotland and was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. 

Mathias Risse is Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. His work primarily addresses questions of global justice ranging from human rights, inequality, taxation, trade and immigration to climate change, obligations to future generations and the future of technology, especially also the impact of artificial intelligence on a range of normative issues. He has also worked on questions in ethics, decision theory and 19th century German philosophy, especially Nietzsche. 

Richard Rottenburg is professor of science and technology studies at WiSER at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (SA). At his previous university in Halle (Germany) he has founded a research network focusing on the anthropology of “Law, Organization, Science and Technology” (LOST). Inspired by social studies of science and technology and renditions of pragmatist social theory, the emergence of material-semiotic orderings and their institutionalizations are at the heart of his current work. His inquiries foreground evidentiary practices (experiments, tests, measurements) and multilayered infrastructures, which solidify and circulate evidence. He asks how they are mobilized to design and critique specific futures. 

Krishanu Saha is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was recently named the McPherson Eye Research Institute’s Retina Research Foundation Kathryn and Latimer Murfee Chair for 2019-2022. His lab is at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), and he participates on campus in the executive committees of the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, Robert F. Holtz Center on Science and Technology Studies, and Forward Bio Institute. Prior to his arrival in Madison, Saha studied chemical engineering and biotechnology at Cornell University, University of Cambridge, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007 he became a Society in Science: Branco-Weiss fellow in the laboratory of Professor Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT and with Professor Sheila Jasanoff in the Program on Science and Technology Studies  at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At UW-Madison, major thrusts of his lab involve gene editing and cell engineering of human cells found in the retina, central nervous system, liver, and blood. He has published more than 50 scientific manuscripts, filed several patents, and received awards that include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Biomedical Engineering Society’s Rising Star Award, and Gund Harrington Scholar Award. He is a member of the National Academies’ Forum on Regenerative Medicine, a co-lead for the T cell testbed within the National Science Foundation’s Center for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT) and a Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of the National Institutes for Health’s Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) Consortium.

Matthew Sample, Ph.D., is a philosopher of science and technology, studying the ethical and political assumptions underpinning novel neuro- and biotechnologies. He is currently managing editor for the STS&Crisis project <https://crisis.stsprogram.org/> and a senior research fellow at the Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard Kennedy School. He will be joining the Global Observatory for Genome Editing as a postdoctoral researcher.

Bettina Schoene-Seifert is Director of the Institute for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.In addition to the theory of ethics, in particular consequentialist ethics, she deals with issues of applied ethics. Most recently, she addressed the question whether prioritization in medicine is justifiable in view of scarce economic resources and which ethical criteria should form the basis of a prioritization decision in the treatment of people. She also works on ethical questions in reproductive medicine, euthanasia and stem cell research. She studied human medicine at the universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Göttingen and Vienna and obtained her medical license and doctorate in Göttingen. She completed her postdoc and postgraduate studies in philosophy and medical ethics at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She received a medical ethics training grant from the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaftand worked from 1990 to 1996 as an assistant at the Philosophical Seminar of the University of Göttingen at Lorenz Krüger’s chair. She has held the C4 Chair for Ethics in Medicine at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster since 2003 . In 2001 she was appointed to the National Ethics Council (now the German Ethics Council), of which she was a member until 2010. In 2008 she became a full member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In 2009 she was elected a member of the Leopoldina in the philosophy of science section.

Nora Schultz is a biologist, freelance science journalist, and scientific advisor to the German Ethics Council. She studied biology in Oxford and Cambridge (Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology) and journalism in Dortmund (diploma in journalism, B.A.). For her doctoral research, she studied zebrafish nerve cells during brain development. Her work has appeared in dasgehirn.info, New Scientist and Spiegel Online.

O. Carter Snead is Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Notre Dame. His research explores issues relating to neuroethics, enhancement, human embryo research, assisted reproduction, abortion, and end-of-life decision-making. He is the author of What It Means to be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics (Harvard University Press, October 2020).  Additionally, he has written more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, and essays. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Snead has provided advice on the legal and public policy dimensions of bioethical questions to officials in all three branches of the U.S. government, and in several intergovernmental fora. Prior to joining the law faculty at Notre Dame he served as general counsel to The President’s Council on Bioethics (Chaired by Dr. Leon R. Kass). He led the U.S. government delegation to UNESCO and served as its chief negotiator for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. He served as the U.S. government’s Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics, where he assisted in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine; on the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, and as is appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life. He is also an elected fellow of The Hastings Center. Snead received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif, and his bachelor of arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He clerked for Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Erik J. Sontheimer is a professor in the RNA Therapeutics Institute and the Program for Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA.  He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Joan Steitz, and then was a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Piccirilli. From June 1999 through July 2014, he was on the faculty of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His research focus is on RNA-based gene regulation, and his laboratory has made fundamental contributions to the understanding of both pre-mRNA splicing mechanisms and RNA interference pathways. In 2007 his laboratory also began working on genetic interference mechanisms in pathogenic bacteria. His group provided the first demonstration that small RNAs known as CRISPR RNAs can target DNA molecules for interference, and in 2008 was the first to recognize and articulate the transformative potential of CRISPR RNA-guided genome engineering applications. He has since continued his work on the biology, mechanism, and application of CRISPR-Cas systems. He is an Associate Editor of RNA and a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, and he has served on the Board of Directors of the RNA Society, as well as numerous grant review panels, scientific advisory boards, and editorial boards. While at Northwestern, he received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, a New Investigator Award in the Basic Pharmacological Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, a Basil O’Conner Award from the March of Dimes, a Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, and the 2008 Nestle Award from the American Society for Microbiology. He is a co-founder and Scientific Advisory Board member at Intellia Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA.

Alistair Sponsel is Historian of the Life Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and Senior Research Fellow in Science and Technology Studies at Harvard University. Before becoming the inaugural historian at CSHL’s Center for Humanities & History of Modern Biology, he was a member of the history faculty at Vanderbilt University. He studies the life sciences, earth sciences, and exploration from the eighteenth century to the present, and his current historical research topics include coral reef science, underwater listening, Polynesian explanations for the origin of Pacific islands, and the emergence of Cambridge, UK as a center for biotechnology research. He is the author of Darwin’s Evolving Identity (Chicago, 2018) and an associate editor of two volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. He received his Ph.D. in history of science from Princeton University (2009) and has held fellowships at the Smithsonian Institution and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

Kaushik Sunder Rajan is professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and Co-Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory. He previously held appointments at the University of California, Irvine and was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. His work lies at the intersection of anthropology and science and technology studies (STS), with commitments to social theories of capitalism and postcolonial studies. He investigates the political economy of contemporary life sciences and biomedicine, focusing on the United States and India, and addressing the complex relationships among knowledge, health, and politics. Sunder Rajan is the author of the 2017 book Pharmocracy: Value, Politics and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine (Duke University Press), which examines the political economy of global pharmaceuticals as seen from contemporary India. His 2006 book Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life (Duke University Press) is an ethnography of genomics and post-genomic drug development marketplaces in the US and India and has been translated into four languages. He received a Ph.D. in history and social studies of science and technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Giuseppe Testa is Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Milan, Head of the Center for Neurogenomics of the Human Technopole and Director of the High Definition Disease Modelling Laboratory at the European Institute of Oncology, where he also co-founded the interdisciplinary PhD program on Life Sciences, Bioethics and Society (Foundations of the Life Sciences and Their Ethical Consequences, Folatec). A three times European Research Council (ERC) awardee, he holds an MD from the University of Perugia, a PhD from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, an MA in Health Care Ethics and Law from the University of Manchester and has been a fellow in the Program on Science, Technology and Society at the Harvard Kennedy School sponsored by the Branco Weiss Society-in-Science program. His lab spearheads stem cell and organoid-based patient-specific models for neurodevelopmental disorders and cancer, focusing on genetic and environmental causes of chromatin dysregulation as a shared and increasingly relevant layer of pathogenic mechanisms. Starting from densely phenotyped clinical cohorts and integrating multi-layered omics, single cell dynamics and high-end computing, the aim is to advance a foundational framework for precision oncology and neuropsychiatry. Key accomplishments include the development of new genome engineering technologies, the characterization of novel enzymes required for neural development, the first reprogramming-based models of human diseases caused by symmetric gene dosage imbalances, the single cell omics-based mechanistic dissection of human corticogenesis in brain organoids, and the identification of the master regulator gene underlying the evolution of the modern human face. A further unique accomplishment is the successful pursuit of a parallel career as practicing life scientist and scholar in Bioethics and Science and Technology Studies (STS). His STS and bioethics scholarship focuses on the relationship between the life sciences and the evolution of modern democracies. His scientific and bioethics/STS work has appeared in leading peer-reviewed journals. He is the author, with Helga Nowotny, of Naked Genes: Reinventing the Human in the Molecular Age.

Patricia Williams is University Distinguished Professor of Law and Humanities at Northeastern University. She is also director of Law, Technology and Ethics Initiatives in the School of Law and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. She has published widely in the areas of race, gender, literature and law. Her books, including The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Harvard University Press, 1991), illustrate some of America’s most complex societal problems and challenge our ideas about socio-legal constructs of race and gender. Drawing on her prior interrogation of race, gender and personhood, her current research raises core questions of individual autonomy and identity in the context of legal and ethical debates on science and technology. She has authored hundreds of essays, book reviews and articles for leading journals, popular magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, Ms., the New York Times, the New Yorker and the Washington Post. She authors a widely read monthly column in The Nation. Williams has held fellowships at the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth, the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California at Irvine, the Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard. She has received awards from the American Educational Studies Association and the National Organization for Women, among others. In 2019, she was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 2000, Professor Williams was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. Professor Williams previously served as the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Harvard University. 

David Winickoff heads the Secretariat of the Working Party on Bio-, Nano-, and Converging Technology (BNCT) at the OECD in Paris. In this capacity he leads research, policy work, and soft law development in the area of science, technology, and innovation at the national and international levels. Formerly he was a tenured professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directed the Program on Science and Technology Studies (STS). As a scholar, David works at the intersection of law, bioethics, and STS. A Harvard trained lawyer, has served on expert panels of the U.S. National Academies of Science, the Royal Academy, and the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C.. He has also served as an expert for the French Parliament and as a member of the Programme Committee of the Rathenau Institute in The Hague. He is currently an Affiliated Professor of Law at SciencesPo in Paris.

Carrie Wolinetz is the Acting Chief of Staff, as well as the Associate Director for Science Policy and Director of the Office of Science Policy (OSP) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As leader of OSP, she advises the NIH Director on science policy matters of significance to the agency, the research community, and the public, on a wide range of issues including human subjects protections, biosecurity, biosafety, genomic data sharing, regenerative medicine, the organization and management of NIH, and the outputs and values of NIH-funded research. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Wolinetz worked on biomedical research policy issues as the Deputy Director for Federal Affairs at the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). She also served as the President of United for Medical Research, a leading NIH advocacy coalition. She has a BS in animal science from Cornell University, and she received her PhD in animal science from The Pennsylvania State University, where her area of research was reproductive physiology.

Christiane Woopen is professor for Ethics and Theory of Medicine and head of the research unit Ethics at the University of Cologne. She received her medical degree from the University of Bonn and worked in gynecology and obstetrics before focusing on bioethics. She is executive director of the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health (CERES), founded in 2013 as one of the first research centers in Germany specifically dealing with interdisciplinary approaches to conduct and foster integrative research in the area of health. She is the coordinator and leader of several international and national research projects concerning ethical aspects of reproductive medicine, neuroethics, quality of life, aging, digital autonomy and genome editing. She is also the former chair of the German Ethics Council, president of the 11th Global Summit of National Ethics/Bioethics Committees 2016 and, amongst other boards, member of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO. In April 2017 she was appointed as chair of the European Group on Ethics of Science and New Technologies and in July 2018 she was appointed as co-speaker of the Data Ethics Commission of the Federal Government of Germany.

Fra. Augusto Zampini is Director of Development and Faith at the Dicastery for Integral Human Development of the Vatican. He is an Argentine priest from the Diocese of San Isidro, Buenos Aires. The former theological adviser to CAFOD, he is an Honorary Fellow at Durham University, Roehampton University, and Stellenbosh University. Trained as a lawyer and moral theologian in Argentina, he holds a Masters in Wellbeing and Human Development (University of Bath, 2009-10), a Ph.D. in Theology (Roehampton University, London, 2010-2014), and has been a post-doctoral research fellow at Margaret Beaufort Institute, University of Cambridge (2013-2014). He has been lecturing on theology, Christian ethics and human rights since 2004 and is a member of multiple teaching societies. His area of research is social ethics and he has conducted research on environmental ethics in the light of the Catholic tradition. He has been a contributor to mainstream and Catholic media on matters pertaining to Pope Francis, Catholic Social Teaching, and social Catholicism more generally.  As a priest, he most recently served at Holy Apostles, Archdiocese of Westminster, London and as an ad-hoc adviser to Cardinal Vincent Nichols on environmental issues. Fr Augusto previously served as an assistant priest and chaplain in different parishes and institutions in Argentina, many located in the poorest neighbourhoods of Greater Buenos Aires.

Xiaomei Zhai is Professor and Executive Director of The Centre for Bioethics, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College (CAMS/PUMC). She is fellow of The Hastings Center; member of Human Genome Editing Expert Advisory Committee, WHO; member of Ethics & COVID-19 Working Group, WHO; executive director of the Medical Ethics Expert Committee, National Health Commission; member of National Expert Committee of Human Organ Donation and Transplantation; Chair of China Society of Bioethics, Society of Science and Technology; Vice President of Beijing society of health law. Her publications include: Death with Dignity(author); An Introduction to Bioethics; Physician-assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: For and Against (co-translator) (written by Frey, Dworkin and Bok), and Medical Ethics (executive editor in chief).