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RG Bioethics, MDC
posted 01-04-2005 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RG Bioethics, MDC     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Dear collegues,

I wish you Happy New Year!

If I may ask for cooperation and help: would you please motivate post-doctoral scientists to apply, I would be very grateful. Please feel free to forward this message to other people who may be interested in submitting an application.

Thematic Background

In theory, somatic gene therapy and germ line interventions enable the causal treatment of diseases, therapies for which have so far been unsatisfying or unavailable. Mainly due to fundamental uncertainties, the application of somatic gene therapy in human medicine has so far remained tightly restricted to clinical trials.
Beyond scientific-technical concerns, major ethical concerns, particularly inter-generational equity issues, have been raised in the context of germ line interventions and have proved prohibitive for large-scale research and development activities.
Some argue that gene therapy holds the key to advanced medical treatment and that apparent scepticism toward this new technology is merely the consequence of an initial, somewhat overenthusiastic leap into a highly complex area of regenerative medicine - a strategy that was perhaps bound to lead to some disappointing findings and attract criticism but will not, and indeed should not, be able to halt this development. Sceptics and critics, on the other hand, point toward unresolved questions of intra-generational
equity and access to health care as well as perceived increasing influences of genomics-related research and application on science's as well as society's conceptions of illness, cure and physicalness or bodily identity.

The current period of calm offers an excellent opportunity to reflect upon the parameters relevant to the advancement of medical innovation. How do the different disciplines evaluate societal and individual implications, the possibilities of social and political-regulatory control as well as influences on our experience of and thinking about the human body and its maladies? Many perspectives exist reaching from theology and
philosophy, anthropology, ethnography and the political & social sciences via law and economics to the natural sciences. Reflecting and understanding these different approaches and their specific contribution to the topic before attempting to develop an integrative view presents an enormous challenge.

The workshop will bring together interested young scientists that are willing to accept this challenge and look beyond the bounds of their discipline in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding and perhaps establish a wider approach to problem-solving.

Date: 2nd - 13th of May 2005, Berlin, Germany

How to Participate

The workshop is designed for young post-doctoral scientists of all disciplines. To apply, they need to send a short CV and an abstract of no more than 400 words until 11th of February 2005 to the address below.
The abstract should detail the view that they would like to contribute to the workshop. Participants will be selected for participation on the basis of this abstract and their CV considering also the overall mixture of disciplines.

They will be told by 28th of February whether they have been selected. The selected participants will be asked to submit a full paper (no more than 20 pages, 1.5 spacing, font size 11) by 15th of April. Participants will be paid 300 for their submitted paper.

In order to encourage a language that is accessible to everyone, we have chosen an unusual format for presentation in the initial discussions. Each participant will be asked to present someone else's paper. Papers will be distributed accordingly in advance. The original author will then have a chance to comment. This means that they must write the paper keeping in mind that it will be read and presented by someone who is not familiar with their discipline!

Although publication in an edited book is envisaged, we would like to point out that there will be no formal peer review and encourage post-doctoral scientists to contribute their personal view and outlook more than they would in a formal publication.

Send application to:

Email (preferred): Ali ben Salem, salem@mdc-berlin.de
Postal Mail: MDC, RG Bioethics, Ali ben Salem, 13092 Berlin (letters), Germany
Fax: 0049 30 9406 2158

Thanks a lot for help
Happy New Year

Ali ben Salem


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