8th Ordinary Session of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST)


The World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) will hold its 8th Ordinary Session to discuss current and emerging ethical challenges in relation to the development of science and technology – such as ethics and climate change and science ethics – and advise UNESCO and its Member States on these issues.

This session will bring together the 18 independent experts appointed by the UNESCO Director General, along with representatives of UNESCO’s international science programmes and global science communities, including the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, and delegates from UNESCO’s Member States who are entitled as observers.

The session will focus on four domains:

i) ethics and climate change;
ii) science ethics;
iii) ethics of nanotechnology and converging technologies;
iv) ethical approaches to science, technology and innovation for development.

Pursuant to the decisions made at its extraordinary session in 2012, COMEST will finalize its reports entitled “A Framework of Ethical Principles and Responsibilities for Climate Change Policies” and “Science Ethics”. COMEST will also review activities implemented in 2012 and early 2013 and adopt a horizon for work in 2014 and beyond, taking account of UNESCO’s strategic objectives as reflected in the draft 37C/4 and 37C/5, which will be considered by the Executive Board of UNESCO in April 2013.

After this Ordinary Session of COMEST, a follow-up conference on ethical challenges of science and technology, in conjunction with the Slovak National Commission for UNESCO, will take place on 30 and 31 May 2013 in Bratislava.


Type of Event Category 5-Advisory Committee
Start 27.05.2013 08:00 local time
End 29.05.2013 16:00 local time
Date to be fixed 0
Focal point Crowley, John
Organizer UNESCO
Contact j.crowley@unesco.org
Country Slovakia
City Bratislava
Permanent Delegation Contact
Major Programme
Language of Event English, French
Estimated number of participants
Official Website World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology
Link 1 More information on this session
Link 2 Draft Agenda [PDF]
Link 3 Follow-up Conference to the 8th Ordinary Session of COMEST on Emerging Ethical Issues in Science and Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia, 30-31 May 2013
Link 4 Global Environmental Change in UNESCO