Fifth session of COMEST to be held in Dakar, Senegal, from 5 to 9 DecemberThe World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), will hold its Fifth Ordinary Session in Dakar, Senegal, from 5 to 9 December. The meeting is jointly organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Scientific Research of Senegal and will be an opportunity to discuss the ethical issues concerning science and technology on the African continent, to establish a network of experts and to set up a platform for future activities in the whole region.
The COMEST session will be opened on 7 December at 10 am by the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, the Minister of Scientific Research, Yaye Kene Gassama Dia, and COMEST Chairperson Pilar Armanet Armanet from Chile.
During the session the following areas will be addressed: ethics education and consultation on the draft core curriculum for the teaching of the ethics of science and bioethics; environmental ethics, consultation on the draft policy advice on environmental ethics and the problem of toxic waste in Africa; African views on the relationship between biodiversity, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and biotechnology. There will also be a regional consultation on science ethics, scientists' responsibilities and codes of conduct.
On 6 December, a Youth Forum of young African researchers on the social responsibilities of scientists will be held.
Alongside the COMEST session, a meeting of regional ministers of science and technology will take place on 7 December. The ministers will discuss the incorporation of the ethics of science and technology into African public policies and they are expected to adopt a declaration on the ethics of science and technology in Africa - the Dakar Declaration - which will be presented by the Minister of Scientific Research at the closing session of the COMEST meeting on 9 December at 2.30 pm.