Korean workshop examines science, technology and human rights

21 May 2001 Seoul (Republic of Korea) is set to be the theatre of a two-day workshop next month looking at the interaction between science technology and human rights.

Organized on 2 and 3 June by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO in tandem with one of the most influential non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Korea, the Council for Democracy in Science and Technology of the People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, the workshop should provide a good opportunity for local researchers, scientists, NGOs and lawyers to identify human rights and ethical issues in science and technology.

The focus will be four-pronged, with different groups discussing the role ethics play in coping with the threats which biotechnology, information and communication technology, intellectual property law and energy technology may pose to human rights.

As science and technology have come to play a bigger role in society, it has become urgent to gain a deeper insight into the ethical implications of recent developments, especially in terms of new forms of human rights violation made possible by certain applications of research. Armed with this fresh insight, we need to seek viable avenues of action at the various levels.

The objectives of the workshop are to review the theoretical discussions on science, technology and human rights; identify human rights and ethical issues deriving from the development of biotechnology, information and communication technology, intellectual property and energy technology; search for ways and means to cope with the threats posed by science and technology to human rights; and to develop links between Korean scientists, NGOs and lawyers.

Some 70 participants are expected in Seoul, including a number of young scientists and a keynote speaker from abroad.

Source: Korean National Commission for UNESCO: heidi@unesco.or.kr