Commission appoints new advisory group on ethics in science and new technologies

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Commission appoints new advisory group on ethics in science and new technologies

Brussels, 30 March 2017

The European Commission has today officially re-launched the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE) by appointing 15 high-calibre members. The Group will advise the Commission on all areas of policy where ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues intersect with the development of science and new technologies.

The Memebers of EGE

The appointments follow the decision by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission, and Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, that these issues require a dedicated group of experts to help improve policymaking in the above-mentioned fields. President Juncker had emphasised that the EGE plays an integral role in furthering the Union as a community of values

Commissioner Moedas said: "Innovation is driving rapid changes and it is our responsibility to ensure that developments are for the good of humanity. The wellbeing of future generations will be determined by the ethical considerations we apply to our policies today. That is why I am delighted that the renewed European Group on Ethics is up and running. The fifteen exceptional men and women appointed today will be an important support to a Commission that seeks to address the major societal challenges for the benefit of all citizens."

The Group brings together leading experts from Europe and worldwide, from the fields of natural and social sciences and humanities, philosophy, ethics and law. Members range from scientists who have spearheaded cutting-edge biomedical techniques, to leading scholars in the study of information technologies, philosophy of science and human rights law. They count several former chairs of national and international ethics councils and bring a wealth of experience advising governments on the societal and human rights implications of current and future developments.

Members of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies

Emmanuel Agius, Professor of philosophical and theological ethics at the University of Malta, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology and member of the EGE since 2005.

Anne Cambon-Thomsen, Emeritus Research Director in CNRS (French national centre for scientific research), member of a joint research Unit on epidemiology and public health at Inserm (National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and University Toulouse III Paul Sabatier.

Ana Sofia Carvalho, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Institute of Bioethics, Catholic University of Portugal, and Chair of the Portuguese UNESCO Chair in Bioethics (2014-2017).

Eugenijus Gefenas, Professor and Director of the Department of Medical History and Ethics at the Medical Faculty of Vilnius University; Director of the Lithuanian Bioethics Committee.

Julian Kinderlerer, Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Cape Town; elected President of the former EGE (2011 – 2016).

Andreas Kurtz, Biologist, Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Head of the human pluripotent stem cell registry (since 2006).

Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law at University College London; Chair of the Health Research Authority in England; Chair Nuffield Council on Bioethics (2012-2017).

Herman Nys, Emeritus Professor in medical law at KU Leuven, editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Health Law and editor of the International Encyclopaedia of Medical Law. Member of the former EGE since 2011.

Siobhán O'Sullivan, Lecturer in Health Care Ethics and Law, Royal College of Surgeons, and former Chief Bioethics Officer, Ministry of Health, Ireland. Member of the former EGE since 2011.

Laura Palazzani, Professor of Philosophy of law and biolaw, Lumsa University in Rome, member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee, Vicechair of the Italian Committee for Bioethics and member of the former EGE since 2011.

Barbara Prainsack, Professor at the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London.

Carlos Maria Romeo Casabona, Professor of Criminal Law; Director, Chair in Law and the Human Genome, University of the Basque Country. Member, Committee of Bioethics of Spain.

Nils-Eric Sahlin, Professor of Medical Ethics, Lund University; member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Chairman of The Swedish Research Council’s Expert Group on Ethics.

Marcel Jeroen Van den Hoven, Professor of Ethics and Technology at the Delft University of Technology; founding Editor in Chief of Ethics and Information Technology.

Christiane Woopen, Professor for Ethics and Theory of Medicine at the University of Cologne. Executive Director of the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health, member of the UNESCO International Bioethics Committee and former chair of the German Ethics.


Since its original inception in 1991, the EGE has provided the Commission with high quality and independent advice. Its scope has progressively expanded from a narrow focus on biomedical issues to a broader examination of the major societal questions of our time. Previous EGE Opinions have focused on topics as wide-ranging as health, energy, and the ethical implications of security and surveillance technologies. With its new makeup, the EGE comprises 15 highly qualified, independent members appointed in their personal capacity. They were selected from over 200 candidates who responded to a public call for expression of interest. The selection process was conducted with the support of an external Identification Committee, charged with ensuring high-level professional experience and a good balance in terms of skills, experience, knowledge, geographical diversity, gender and age.

The group will hold its first meeting on 24-25 April 2017, when it will meet Commissioner Moedas and reflect on the most relevant topics for its first opinions. It will report to the Commission President, and to the College of Commissioners as a whole, and act under the direct responsibility of Commissioner Moedas.

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