Dr. Dominique J. Monlezun received the Microsoft Award for Artificial Intelligence Doctoral Dissertation

Dr. Dominique J. Monlezun received the Microsoft Award for Artificial Intelligence Doctoral Dissertation

From 26 to 28 February some members of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights participated in the General Assembly on Artificial Intelligence organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, Vatican City.

After two days of workshops focused on the importance to the challenges in the fields of ethics, law and health regarding the AI, on February 28th during the final conference entitled “RenAIssance A Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence” our research scholar Dominique J. Monlezun Jr. received the Microsoft Award for Artificial Intelligence Doctoral Dissertation at the presence of the President of Microsoft (USA), Smith Brad and the Executive Vice-president of IBM, Kelly III John.

On June the 25th Dr. Dominique J. Monlezun Jr. publicly defended at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolurum, Rome, his doctoral thesis “Artificial intelligence & bioethics: Thomistic-Aristotelian personalist refinement of the United Nations’ social contract view of rights-duties in AI-genetic engineered nanotechnology from overlapping to converging consensus”. The doctoral thesis Director was Prof. Alberto Garcia. 


Dr. Dominique J. Monlezun argues that ““if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other” (Therese 1997).[i] Wojtyla and Teresa embodied a Thomistic metaphysics that is philosophically defensible and politically convincing by witnessing a common experiential encounter with the good, as personal as it is real. This work has sought to describe and apply this model to AI-GNR to understand its cataclysmic implications, the failure of the liberal social contract ethics alone to address them, and the unifying soundness of Thomistic personalism to do just that by establishing the anthropological consistency, political effectiveness, and philosophical robustness of a Thomistic personalist elucidation of a defensible UDBHR and UDHR-detailed human rights and duties paradigm.”

After, the “Call for an AI Ethics” was signed by Pontifical Academy for Life, Microsoft, IBM, FAO, the Italian Government. It is a document “developed to support an ethical approach to Artificial Intelligence and promote a sense of responsibility among organizations, governments and institutions with the aim to create a future in which digital innovation and technological progress serve human genius and creativity and not their gradual replacement.” (source: PAV).





[i] MOTHER THERESE, “Reflections on working toward peace,” (Santa Clara University, n.d.), https://legacy.scu.edu/ethics/architects-of-peace/teresa/essay.html. Dahlburg, John-Thor. “Mother Teresa, 87, Dies; Devoted Her Life to Poor.” Los Angeles Times; 1997. http://articles.latimes.com/1997/sep/06/news/mn-29425.




19th SUMMER COURSE IN BIOETHICS -Bioethics and Consciousness: an interdisciplinary and interreligious reflection on an essential dimension of the human person

19th SUMMER COURSE IN BIOETHICS -Bioethics and Consciousness: an interdisciplinary and interreligious reflection on an essential dimension of the human person

Due to the COVID-19 the summer bioethics courses scheduled for July 2020 are suspended. They are postponed until July 2021.

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INTRODUCTORY COURSE: Current challenges in Bioethics

To propose a global vision of the chief bioethical themes, in light of the fundamental principles that guide practical choices.

How does one choose whether to begin a therapy that might have grave consequences? What can a couple do or not do to have a child? What is the destiny of frozen embryos? How should we educate youth to respect their bodies and not to play with their lives? how should we deal with same-sex tendencies? To what point can the rapid advances in the technology – cloning, neuroscience, nanotechnology enhance man?

Human action also entails ethical questions: we will seek the answer together, through the investigation of a science, as an ally of truth, in the service of life.

REFRESHER COURSE IN BIOETHICS: Bioethics and Consciousness: an interdisciplinary and interreligious reflection on an essential dimension of the human person

The course proposes an interdisciplinary and interreligious study of human consciousness with the aim of understanding the plurality of meanings corresponding to the multi-layered complexity of personal dimensions of which it is composed. The course will offer its participants the chance to acquire the knowledge regarding the following areas: the state of the art of the so-called “science of consciousness” ranging from neuroscience to artificial intelligence and including quantum physics; the medical-clinical and psychiatric-psychological context; the philosophy and anthropology of consciousness; the artistic-aesthetic and theological-spiritual dimension. In this final context, special emphasis will be given to interreligious dialogue.

The course will give its participants the competencies necessary to discern critically the varied contemporary contexts in which consciousness is invoked, in order to evaluate critically clinical protocols, proposed laws, sanitary applications, and the polical, economic and social implications of the theme.

The theme of consciousness is at the center of contemporary bioethics debates. At the beginning stages of human life, the absence of self-consciousness is invoked to justify depriving the human organism of the status of personhood. At the final stages of human life, it is argued that an apparently irreversible loss of the manifestations of human self-consciousness can justify the harvesting of organs as a “donation” from subjects in gravely compromised states of altered consciousness. Moreover, two tensions are widespread in neuroscientific, philosophical and social contexts. On the one hand, there are attempts at reductionism, whether in the merely neurobiological sense or in a functionalist sense. On the other hand, there have emerged many substitutionary approaches that seek to identify personal self-consciousness with mere digitizable information.


The summer courses are open to everyone. The introductory course in Bioethics is aimed at all those who intend to approach the world of bioethics, and do not yet know the history, principles, and principle models of the discipline; to all those who are looking for answers regarding questions concerning the meaning of human sexuality, huanity in an embryonic state, criteria and orientations in assisted reproduction, the history, current debate, and scientific data on the so-called gender theory, experimentation, informed consent, neurobioethics, human enhancement, euthanasia, and much more. The bioethics refresher course is of particular interest to social workers; doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, administrator and managers; educators and professors; priests, religious, catechists and other pastoral agents; lawyers and jurists; politicians; journalists, communicators and sociologists, as well as those who are interested in the cultural and social dynamics of our globalized world and wish to have prudent, informed and critical criteria on global, bioethical and social issues relating to public health issues of international interest.


Both courses consist of lectures, question and answer sessions, seminars, forums, film discussions, and interactive group activities. The professors of the School of Bioethics and other experts will partecipate as speakers and moderators of group dynamics. at the end of each course the students will take an achievement test.

The courses will be given in the Italian and English languages at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum at via degli Aldobrandeschi 190, Roma, Aula Master, first floor.
Coordinator of the Introductory Course:
Prof. Joseph Tham L.C.
Coordinators of the Refresher Course: Prof. Alberto Carrara L.C. and Prof. Aberto García Gómez


The academic fee for attending a single course is 350 euros; for both courses 600 euros. There is the possibility of asking for scholarships. Price recuctions are available for groups.

To register: https:/www.upra.org/modulo-ammissione/
For further information visit the site: www.upra.org and click the section:

Offerta formativa – Bioetica – Corso estivo

For any questions, contact us at: info.bioetica@upra.org


Both summer courses are part of the courses that the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostulorum, as an accredited body, registers on the S.O.F.I.A. (Operating System for Training and Initiatives for Updating of Teachers) of MIUR (Ministry of Education, the University and Research). At the end of the course the student will be able to apply for the training certificate recognized by MIUR.

The summer course is one of the optional courses of the Licentiate in Bioethics and worth 3 ECTS.

BINCA’s 5th Anniversary

BINCA’s 5th Anniversary

by Nicole Hilbert Alcántara

The interdisciplinary group of ‘’Clinical Bioethics and Neuroethics of Anahuac University’’, previously known as ‘’Bioethics and Clinical Neuroethics and Investigation Anahuac’’, celebrated its fifth anniversary on Friday 20th of September, commemorating members and people who have actively participated to ensure constant development and growth of the group. Special recognition was given to students founding members, the first generation of the interdisciplinary neuroethics diploma, to other essential members and to each person who is currently part of the group. Dreams which were established in the beginning where reminisced. It was acknowledged how the initial objectives were achieved, and how this has filled the team with new dreams, goals and expectations.

The event was inaugurated by the assistant of coordination, Juan Carlos Casillas Alcalá, who joined the team in 2017. ‘’It has been 5 years of constant questioning, reasoning, discussing to find knowledge, organizing meetings to enhance research and to comprehend problematics through science and humanities‘’.

These words were followed by three videos which showed the group’s activities. The first video showed events which have taken place in the last 2 years and mentioned some accomplishments during this period. Additionally, it reflected some of the feelings through which the current members relate with the group.

The next one was a speech given by Dr. Maria Elizabeth De Los Rios, president of the Interdisciplinary Cathedra of Clinical Bioethics. Here, special recognition was given to Dr. Mariel Kalkach, for ‘fighting for her dreams’, to father Antonio Cabrera for giving the group ‘wings to fly’ and ‘looking for new horizons’, and lastly to Mr. Adolfo del Valle for ‘supporting bioethics projects which are good to society’. The speech was ended by explaining how BINCA not only is a synonym for knowledge but also of community; sisterhood and brotherhood, it is a family.

The last video was a message by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Dr. Alberto García Gómez: ‘’I still remember the days when Dr. José Damián and Dr. Mariel Kalkach joined a summer course and discussed about neuro-bioethical, anthropological, juridical and social perspectives. Because of this idea was born, and shortly after it became reality’’.

Unfortunately, due to other compromises as president of the Mexican society in Neurological Surgery, Dr. José Damian Carrillo Ruiz couldn’t attend the event. However, his speech, dedicated to BINCA, can be found on our website. His role as a great supporter in the creation and development of the group was mentioned by Dr. Mariel Kalkach, founder and coordinator of BINCA. She explained the academic necessities which incited the origin of the group: ‘’We sought to promote neuroethics in Mexico’’, and to this, practical matters were added such as ‘how to apply bioethics to the real world, whilst interacting with other professionals whose perspectives might show important differences?’. ‘’The weight of an academic title has to reflect on the theoretical and practical capacities of the graduate, and although in Mexico we count with brilliant academics and theorists in bioethics, we are lacking practical capacity.’’ With this mindset in 2014 a group of 7 undergraduates, dr. Kalkach, Dr. Carrillo and Dr. de los Ríos, was founded.

The founding alumni of BINCA: Tomás Moncada Habib, Katia Ávila, Mijail Tapia Moreno & Emiliano Montiel Nuñez.

We began with small sessions which throughout the years, and with a lot of efforts, turned into a growing audience of students and professionals of different backgrounds and institutions. Eventually, a tradition was born: promoting education with an interdisciplinary method. BINCA seeks that their academics and researchers ‘strip away their egos, prejudices and conventional postures, and look for an honest challenge to pursue truth’.
The objective is that students learn to work with this method. The relevance of interdisciplinarity and foundations of the group are well known to the current nuclear members: Sofía Yarza del Villar (med), Juan Carlos Casillas (med), Adrián Casillas (comm), Nicole Hilbert (med), Scarlett Huerta Pérez (med), Julio Téllez Gómez (psych), María Fernanda García Romero (med), Ana María Gutiérrez (med), Mariana Vargas Hoyo (med), y Aquetzali Andrés Millán (med). This tradition is always transmitted to new members who wish to join the team, such as this year’s newcomers; Saulo Guimel Romo Contreras (med), María Fernanda Rodríguez Pérez (psych) and José Guillermo Flores Vázquez (med).

After introducing the current BINCA team, founding members, Dr. Katia Ávila Fernández, Dr. Tomás Moncada Hadid, Dr. Emiliano Montiel Núñez y Dr. Mijail Tapia Moreno, shared their testimonies on BINCA. ‘’It was a pathway that let me grow personally and academically’’, ‘’BINCA is a great opportunity to grow because it draws you away from the ordinary’’, ‘’It’s a great opportunity to satisfy our curiosity’’, ‘’I was given the chance to accomplish my first publication, as well as to attend congresses as a speaker’’, and ‘’Without knowing what was going to happen, everything happened’’, were a few of the words which these members used to describe their unique experience at BINCA.

Later, Dr. Germán Carreto, coordinator of Virtual Education for the Interdisciplinary Neuroethics Diploma in 2018 (DIN2018) briefly described the course. The intensive course of 100 hours counted with the collaboration of 28 professors from different specialties and parts of the world. A total of 18 alumni took part, and 10 of them with ‘’excellent performance’’.   

Later on, Dr. Jorge Álvarez Díaz, winner of the World Health Organization’s award for ‘’Excellence in Iberoamerican Health and Bioethics’’, in 2007, and author of several articles and books, being the most recent one ‘’Neuroethics – relations between the mind/brain and moral/ethics’’ (Neuroética – relaciones entre mente/cerebro y moral/ética), gave a touching speech on the formation of neuroethicists, mentioning the fact that apart from the DIN2018, there is no other educational course in Neuroethics in the world. He explained the historical development of this branch, as well as its importance. ‘’It’s not only about reflecting, but to act’’, were words he used to describe BINCA.

Last but not least, Dr. Tomás Barrientos, Director of the Faculty of Health Sciences, in representation of Dr. Antonio Cabrera Cabrera, the Dean of the Bioethics Faculty who was also present in the event, gave a speech in order to show gratitude to BINCA’s hard work, endurance and performance through the years.

BINCA is a group of people who seek to better understand the world and create solutions through dialogue and practice, a dynamic form to promote the interest of current bioethics issues. BINCA looks to contribute to form a society which questions everyday problems and looks for solutions as a team. It’s an interdisciplinary group which integrates everyone’s expertisse and looks for auto-realization of each individual, without forgetting to grow as a team. BINCA is Clinical Bioethics and Neuroethics for everyone.

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights has been renewed for other 4 years

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights has been renewed for other 4 years

We are proud to share some words of the letter received from Borhene Chakroun, Director of Education Sector Division for policies and lifelong learning Systems (UNESCO).

“In light of the very good results achieved by the above-mentioned Chair, confirmed by the positive evaluation of its activities, l am pleased to inform you that UNESCO agrees to renew the above-mentioned Agreement for an additional period of four years until 7 July 2022. l am confident that the UNESCO Chair together with its partners, wilt continue to serve as a forum on bioethics, and contribute to the promotion of bioethics and human rights, multiculturalism and interreligious dialogue, through its interdisciplinary research, training and documentation.”

Prof. Alberto Garcia, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights and the entire team of the Chair is enthusiastic of this achievement.

MASTERCLASS IN NEUROBIOETHICS: Neurobioethics and Artificial Intelligence – III Edition

MASTERCLASS IN NEUROBIOETHICS: Neurobioethics and Artificial Intelligence – III Edition


The Neurobioethics Interdisciplinary Research Group (GdN) at the Athenaeum Pontificium Regina Apostolorum (APRA) of Rome, inspired by the recent achievements made in the field of neurobioethics, robotics and technology, will dedicate its reflection, research, publication and formation of the year 2019-2020 to the critical analysis of “artificial intelligence”.

The potential that the evolution of algorithms has to offer to humanity has the power to arouse enthusiasm and hope for scientific innovation, but not all are convinced of its benefit as serious concerns have arisen. There is no doubt that our history is linked to the development of technology and, in the last century, to the exponential growth of computational innovations. Like every tool, artificial intelligence contributes to the human beings flourishing and to the common good, depending on the use that will be made of it. Indeed, the more powerful this product of human intelligence will be, the greater the potential benefit; but even more feared is the possible incurred damage that would be a consequence of its misuse. Therefore, an interdisciplinary reflection on the subject which explains the status of the art, the real future evolutions, the positive applications and the dangers of its misuse are matters of urgency.

The current solicitations of robotics, the development of artificial intelligence and the multiple applications of human empowerment call upon the men and the women of today to know more about these topics and their consequences in order to consciously decide the direction of neuro-technological progress.

The Neurobioethics Research Group (GdN) in continuity with the paths on Transhumanism (2017-2018) and on Roboethics (2018-2019) will offer a third specialization course for the academic year 2019-2020 (75 hours in total – 3 ECTS) on “Neurobioethics and Artificial Intelligence”. From October 2019 until June 2020 a course of ten monthly meetings will be proposed: seminars, round tables and the March conference inside of the Brain Awareness Week, promoted by the DANA Foundation. The course will develop the technological, neuroscientific, psychiatric, psychological, philosophical, ethical, legal and theological aspects of the so-called “artificial intelligence” in order to create a mature awareness of the applications of anthropological, ethical, legal, sanitary and social consequences of these innovations for the life of human beings.

This third specialization course in Neurobioethics “Neurobioethics and Artificial Intelligence” will collect the fruit of the interdisciplinary reflection of the GdN. It will be possible to follow the course both in presidential mode and online. The course is in Italian.

Particular emphasis will be given to the consideration of the issues related to the principles enshrined in the UNESCO Bioethics and Human Rights Declaration of 2005.


Faculty of Bioethics

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights

Institute of Science and Faith


The course includes a two-hour monthly meeting (seminar or round table) starting on Friday 25/10/2019 until Friday 19/06/2020. The dates, times and classrooms of the meetings are the following:

10/25/2019, 17-19: 00, Aula Magna (2nd floor)

11/29/2019, 17-19: 00, Aula Magna (2nd floor)

12/13/2019, 17-19: 00, Aula Magna (2nd floor)

24/01/2020, 17-19: 00, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

21/02/2020, 17-19: 00, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

18/03/2020, World Brain Week Conference, 15-19: 00, Master Classroom (1st floor)

20/03/2020, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

24/04/2020, 17-19: 00, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

22/05/2020, 17-19: 00, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

19/06/2020, 17-19: 00, Thesis classroom (1st floor)

The specific contents and speakers will be communicated month by month and will progress from the technical-computational aspects of the algorithms up to the neuroscientific, psychiatric, psychological, philosophical, ethical, legal and theological issues concerning the development of the so-called “artificial intelligence”.


This training course is created for all of those who wish to become more aware of the development, application to humans and the environment of “artificial intelligence”; specifically: politicians, bioethicists, engineers, teachers, trainers, doctors, philosophers and theologians. At the end of the course a certificate will be issued to the attendees, and after the evaluation of their summary of the course, 3 ECTS credits will be issued.


The registration fee and the total course fee is € 350.

Registration deadline: 10/31/2019

Coordinator of the specialization course:

Prof. P. Alberto Carrara, L.C.

Tel: 06/916891


For further informations

Prof. P. Alberto Carrara, L.C.


Tel: 329/9157494