Final Plenary Session: Areas for Future Cooperation

Kenneth Shine

Based on the voting at the Final Plenary Session, the following eight projects for future cooperation were considered to be of highest priority in the order indicated.

  1. The academies should encourage the integration of ethical values into kindergarten-grade 12 science curricula with special attention to “hands-on” approaches that encourage pupils to work together and gain an appreciation of how individual values should be reflected in real life situations.

  2. The academies should organize a workshop or study on food security, including consideration of the control of food contamination and food-borne diseases as well as the adequacy of and access to the food supply in changing demographic situations. In the project, consideration should also be given to the importance and content of nutritional diets that help prevent obesity and other food-related ailments. The project should involve a review of relevant legislation in both countries to help ensure that the project encompasses the major issues of current concern.

  3. The academies should arrange for an exchange of ethics experts who are familiar with science and technology issues. Initially one expert from each country should visit the other country and lead several seminars on science, technology, and ethics while also consulting with local experts in the field of ethics. A second step might include preparation by the two experts of a joint paper on key ethical concerns in developing and carrying out scientific research and related programs.



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Final Plenary Session: Areas for Future Cooperation Kenneth Shine Based on the voting at the Final Plenary Session, the following eight projects for future cooperation were considered to be of highest priority in the order indicated. 1. The academies should encourage the integration of ethical values into kindergarten-grade 12 science curricula with special attention to “hands-on” approaches that encourage pupils to work together and gain an appreciation of how individual values should be reflected in real life situations. 2. The academies should organize a workshop or study on food secu- rity, including consideration of the control of food contamination and food-borne diseases as well as the adequacy of and access to the food supply in changing demographic situations. In the project, consideration should also be given to the importance and content of nutritional diets that help prevent obesity and other food-related ailments. The project should involve a review of relevant legislation in both countries to help ensure that the project encompasses the major issues of current concern. 3. The academies should arrange for an exchange of ethics experts who are familiar with science and technology issues. Initially one expert from each country should visit the other country and lead several semi- nars on science, technology, and ethics while also consulting with local experts in the field of ethics. A second step might include preparation by the two experts of a joint paper on key ethical concerns in developing and carrying out scientific research and related programs. 1

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2 THE EXPERIENCES AND CHALLENGES OF SCIENCE AND ETHICS 4. The Iranian Academy of Sciences should review the report of the National Research Council entitled On Being a Scientist and determine whether the report or a modified version of the report would be appropri- ate for distribution in Iran and/or in other Muslim countries. The Iranian academy should also consider preparing a first draft of a companion re- port that might be entitled On Being an Engineer. After review by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the report might be published as a joint report of the two academies. Alternatively, each side could prepare its own version of the report. 5. The academies in the two countries should consider organizing an exchange of experts in the field of cancer epidemiology who might com- pare different approaches to assessing the impact of environmental pol- lutants on cancer rates including impacts from the petrochemical indus- try. A second priority field for an exchange of experts should be medical genetics. 6. The academies should consider organizing workshops on environ- mental education at various levels from kindergarten through university. A unique aspect of the workshops would be to develop modules for ap- propriate levels that could be presented in films and other animated forms that attract the interest of students. 7. The academies should organize workshops and related activities on the legal and policy frameworks for addressing environmental issues while also encouraging the development of sister city arrangements be- tween municipalities that have been concerned with health, environmen- tal, and other issues involving a host of ethical considerations. 8. The academies should facilitate exchanges of scientists, educators, and students that emphasize the ethical aspects of the education process. One approach would be to enlist the participation of organizations in the two countries that have histories of promoting exchanges that are sensi- tive to ethical issues. More than a dozen other suggestions were presented in the reports of the breakout groups. While the participants decided not to expand the priority list to accommodate more of these suggestions, they agreed that these suggestions should not be lost, and included them in the reports of the breakout groups.