Today, science and innovation influence the way we organise and live our lives. We might not be aware of past and present achievements in science when switching on the light, TV, computer or iPod, consulting Google, or simply driving our car.
EU funding in 2009
Science has helped to improve virtually all aspects of our everyday lives and continues to do so. Sometimes, we fail to understand its added value or are ill at ease with its results or rapid development. Potential risks from new scientific discoveries or their industrial applications have to be assessed and reported in response to public concerns. Ethical issues relating to emerging technologies should be addressed on the basis of well-informed debate, leading to sound choices and decisions.
The ‘Science in society’ programme under FP7 addresses these issues and ensures that research is carried out on the basis of a rigorous ethical, legal and institutional framework. Thus, its activities include the ethics review of all FP7 proposals that raise ethical questions. In 2009, 229 proposals were reviewed. No projects were entirely rejected on ethical grounds, and a new ethics review process based on subsidiarity and decentralisation was proposed and accepted. The new process will be implemented between 2010 and 2013.