Mediathek

Biosecurity – Freedom and Responsibility of Research

Silja Vöneky, University of Freiburg

Speech at the Herrenhausen Symposium "Dual Use Research on Microbes: Biosafety, Biosecurity, Responsibility", 11.12.2014

Silja Vöneky is Professor of Public International Law and Ethics of Law at the University of Freiburg, (Co-)Director of the Institute for Public Law and (Co-)Director of the Network for Civil Security Law in Europe (KORSE). She talks about biosecurity in general and the freedom and responsibility of research in particular from her point of view as a legal expert. Her areas of focus include international law and philosophy of law, especially humanitarian law, international environmental law, the relation of ethics and law ("ethicalization" of law), including questions on how to regulate existential risks (biosecurity law and democratic legitimacy). She studied law and philosophy of law at the Universities of Freiburg, Bonn, Edinburgh (UK), and Heidelberg and was head of a Max Planck Research Group in Heidelberg focusing on the interdependence of ethics and law (2005-2011). Since 2001 Silja Vöneky is legal advisor to the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of Research, the Federal Ministry of Environment, and to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Scientific Marine Research. Since 2012 she has been a member of the German Ethics Council appointed on the proposal of the federal government and was the head of the working group on biosecurity of the German Ethics Council.

Photo: David Carreno Hansen for Volkswagen Foundation

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