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Meeting of Young Minds

Together with the Rathenau Institute, our team will organize one of the two debate rounds at the event Meeting of Young Minds. This debate will take place the Friday of the Jamboree, October 5th. The topic of this debate will be about the release of research details on the creation of highly transmissible H5N1 (bird flu) in the lab. With different experts we will discuss different statements like:

• The NSABB made the right choice to give permission for publication of this research
• Looking at the potential risks, this research should not have started in the first place (accidents in the past, e.g. 1977 pandemic of H1N1, which probably escaped from the lab)
• The scientific community has to remain ‘open access’ – restricting access to scientific literature hampers the progress in science.

During this debate the public will get also a chance to express their opinion. So please come and be part of this interesting debate!

Ethical considerations during scientific investigation

Our team had extra help from an embedded humanist, named Daan Schuurbiers, who followed the research as a midstream modulation project. Including Daan to the project, the team became also aware of the social sciences of the research. ‘’Midstream modulation asks how research is to be carried out, which is the main business of research, rather than whether a research project should be carried out, which is an upstream policy question. It is a means to evaluate and adjust research decisions in light of societal factors while the research process is taking place.’’ There are 3 different stages in the governance of science and technology, upstream, downstream and midstream modulation, see figure on the right. So by thinking about midstream modulation, this project is connected with the scientific research as well as to the social issues. In this documentary you will see how science will meet the human interest in many ways.

D. Schuurbiers, E. Fisher (2009), Lab-scale intervention. Science & Society Series on Convergence Research, EMBO reports VOL 10 NO 5

Who is Daan Schuurbiers? – Our embedded humanist

Daan Schuurbiers is director of the Pilot Plant (De Proeffabriek), consultancy for responsible innovation. Daan studied chemistry and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and has a PhD in ethics of technology from Delft University of Technology. His work centers on the social and ethical dimensions of newly emerging science and technologies. Daan's research efforts have focused on the design of new forms of dialogue between social and natural scientists, enhancing socio-ethical reflection in early stages of research. In addition to teaching and research, Daan has extensive experience in project management and consultancy, particularly in the area of dialogue and engagement with science and technology. He has published in academic journals as well as the popular press and has been involved in the organization of a range of teaching courses, master classes, competitions, workshops and other events throughout Europe. He now combines his writing, teaching, research and management skills in his work for the Pilot Plant, advising on ways to encourage reflection in research and to strengthen stakeholder engagement.