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

July 2,3,9,10 2021 – from 3:30pm to 6:30pm


Course presentation

The 19th Summer Bioethics Course will take place at 15:30-18:30 on July 2-3 and 9-10, 2021. Simultaneous translation will be available into English, Italian, and Spanish. The title of the course is “Bioethics and Consciousness: an interdisciplinary and interreligious reflection on an essential dimension of the human person.”

The course is organized by the Faculty of Bioethics in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights established at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and the European University of Rome.


The course is organized by the Neurobioethics research group, in particular by the subgroup on consciousness, with the participation of all other subgroups and researchers of the group. 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. Therefore, correct information and formation regarding consciousness is important.

This international summer course in bioethics 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 about the theme. Finally, 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 political, economic and social implications of the theme.


Coordinators of the course:

Prof. Alberto Carrara: acarrara@legionaries.org

Prof. Alberto García: agarcia@unescobiochair.org

Stop the Spread Campaign

Stop the Spread Campaign

The Hastings Center has prepared this resource to help the nation stop the spread of the pandemic and we invite you to share it widely with patients and the general public through any dissemination channels available to you. This compelling animation underscores the four simple steps, needed to curb the coronavirus and restore the economy. We can “Stop the Spread.”

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/S46Fp-NxwnY/maxresdefault.jpgStop the SpreadWhen an infectious disease reaches crisis proportions, how can a country return to daily life and restore its economy?youtu.be

These steps include:

1.    Widespread use of masks to prevent disease transmission;

2.    Widely available testing with quickly reported results;

3.    Large-scale contact tracing to determine who is infected, or may become infected; and

4.    Voluntary targeted isolation by those who test positive for, or who have been exposed to, the virus.

Without effective masking, testing, tracing, and isolation, the country’s attempts to reopen will be disrupted. Stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus—and avoiding a general lockdown—depends on these important measures.

Stop the Spread! Spread the campaign!

For more information about The Hastings Center’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.thehastingscenter.org/ethics-resources-on-the-coronavirus/

December 10, 1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 10, 1948: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By Serena Montefusco

In 1947, a Human Rights Commission, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, a pioneer and fervent supporter of human rights, met to draft what would become the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Commission was composed of a committee created by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations of the eight member states selected based on the criterion of the broadest geographical representativeness. The Declaration was presented in September 1948 and adopted a few months later. On December 10, 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was seen as a mere non-legally binding instrument, a “soft law” that laid the solid foundations for the rebirth of consciences shaken by the Second World War. In the following years, it became a crucial instrument of international law to protect fundamental human rights and a pillar of subsequent legally binding conventions and documents.

In October 2005, the General Assembly of UNESCO responded to rapid developments in science and technology and related ethical issues and approved the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Starting from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, below we would like to present the commitment of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics and Human Rights. Since its 2009 foundation, the Chair has been and continues to be at the forefront of the dissemination and promotion of universal human rights through projects, study groups, advanced training courses, national and international workshops.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “men are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, and have “duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” (art. 29), It adds that “the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution” (art. 14). As part of the “European Citizens for Solidarity” (EUROSOL) project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens program, on November 27, 2017, the Chair organized a public forum on the topic of “Human Dignity and Human Rights of Refugees.” The event brought together dozens of experts from eight countries to discuss EU resolutions related to the refugee crisis and propose new strategies and actions to address the urgent issues of the day: promoting intercultural dialogue, combating the stigmatization of migrants, and promoting tolerance and empathy. In addition, through the Bioethics Global Art project, the Bioaesthetics study group and the collaboration with the Fondazione Marianna, of which the Director of the Chair, Prof. Alberto García Gómez is an advisor, the Chair is pioneering the dissemination of human rights through art in all its forms. In 2011, 2013 and 2015, the Chair organized two art competitions and several exhibitions of unique pieces created by international artists committed and sensitive to the struggle for the rights of the most vulnerable.

Article 18, which enshrines freedom of thought, conscience and religion, introduces us to the project Bioethics, Multiculturalism and Religion with which the Chair wants to provide a place for debate where representatives of different religions and traditions can: engage one another in a sustained scholarly dialogue about global bioethics; cultivate an amicable atmosphere so participants can learn about each other’s tradition or religion with discursive empathy; promote mutual understanding of global bioethics through respectful discussion and scholarship; strive to develop the linguistic and conceptual space in which common ground or convergence can emerge and be mutually recognized and appreciated; and finally foster creative cooperation while respecting the dignity and uniqueness of each tradition.

The Chair, in conclusion, seeks to create venues for diverse leaders in bioethical thought. Working together in a spirit of respect and friendship, it aims to provide a common framework to guide the application of bioethical principles in light of the UNESCO Declaration. In this way, ethical, legal, and public views, decisions, and actions related to medicine, life sciences, human rights, and responsibilities can be informed and illuminated.

Third World Congress of Transdisciplinarity Virtual

Third World Congress of Transdisciplinarity Virtual

The organizers of the III World Congress of Transdisciplinary Virtual, the Centre International de Recherches et Études Transdisciplinaires (CIRET-FRANCE), the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH/INAH-MEXICO), the UNESCO Transdisciplinary Chair on “Human Development and Culture of Peace”, University of Florence (UTC-ITALY), the Transdisciplinary Education Centre (CETRANS-BRAZIL) realize this world event of great importance to humanity, which will take place from October 30, 2020, until September 17, 2021.

This Virtual Congress is part of the III World Congress Face-to-Face Transdisciplinarity, to be held November 2-6, 2021 in Mexico City, with presentations, round tables, symposiums, cultural and artistic activities, can be found on their website. On this site, there are the forms of registration and inscription, for the two virtual and face-to-face modalities, as well as important information.

Our UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights is part of the the Congressional CTU-Italy Committee lead by the University of Florence and will contribute participating in the RELATIONAL INTELLIGENCE OF THE SPECIES of the 21st Century, III week of conferences, during which our Chair Holder, Prof. Alberto Garcia will moderate the round table entitled “Bioethical challenges of artificial intelligence for a sustainable development respectful of human rights.” The round table will be held on March 24th 2021.

Download the program in Italian

Prima edizione della “Excellence Webinar Academy” di ELSA Italia

Prima edizione della “Excellence Webinar Academy” di ELSA Italia

La nostra Cattedra UNESCO di Bioetica e Diritti Umani (UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights) è uno dei sostenitori della I Edizione della “Excellence Webinar Academy” di ELSA Italia, un percorso multidisciplinare composto da 36 ore di programma accademico finalizzato ad accrescere le soft skills e le conoscenze giuridiche dei partecipanti. Le attività formative si svolgeranno dal mese di Ottobre a quello di Gennaio. Al termine di tale percorso, avrà luogo nel mese di Febbraio una attività pratica di Law Case Study di seguito analizzata. 

L’obiettivo è quello di approfondire diversi temi giuridici grazie ad esperti del settore da un lato e, dall’altro, stimolare i partecipanti ad analizzare il caso loro affidato con un approccio di critical thinking, comparando al termine dell’attività la soluzione proposta con il caso realmente accaduto.

   La calendarizzazione prevista per il progetto è la seguente:

  1. 17.09.2020 Lancio dell’evento
  • 05.10.2020 Chiusura Iscrizioni Partecipanti
  • 14.10.2020 Fine della selezione delle candidature
  • 15.10.2020 Invio dell’e-mail ai selezionati
  • 17.10.2020 Inizio Excellence Webinar Academy
  • 27.02.2021 Fine Law Case Study

Per le iscrizioni segui il link https://www.elsa-italy.org/blog/news/ewa/

Per quanto riguarda la struttura del percorso formativo che farà da base all’attività accademica di Law Case Study, verrà strutturato, per vostra conoscenza, in quattro Moduli, i quali sono:

  1. Cyber and Data 
  • Commercio Internazionale
  • Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights
  • Law Firm Management

Al termine del Ciclo di Webinar, i partecipanti (in numero circa di 24-32) saranno divisi in quattro gruppi, ciascuno dei quali approfondirà un caso pratico correlato ad uno dei quattro moduli. L’approfondimento sarà guidato da un Academic Supervisor per ciascun gruppo mediante incontri periodici, presumibilmente un incontro settimanale per quattro settimane seguendo idealmente questa timeline:

  • 1° incontro: Presentazione del caso pratico e indicazioni sull’attività di ricerca (es. riferimenti normativi, giurisprudenza, dottrina ecc.)
  • 2° incontro: Confronto con i partecipanti sulla ricerca compiuta e indicazioni sul metodo di risoluzione del caso
  • 3° incontro: Confronto con i partecipanti sulle proposte di risoluzione del caso con indicazione della corretta risoluzione dello stesso
  • 4° incontro (alla presenza di tutti i partecipanti): Presentazione per ciascun gruppo del caso analizzato nei suoi punti più interessanti e della risoluzione individuata

Le iscrizioni sono aperte gratuitamente a tutti i soci di ELSA Italia i quali verranno poi selezionati da un apposito Comitato.

Il tavolo dei relatori è attualmente così composto, salvo le residue richieste pendenti di partecipazione:

  1. Cyber and Data:
  1. Carmelo Fontana, Legal Counsel di Google
  • Luca Bolognini, Presidente dell’Istituto Italiano Privacy
  • Carmine Andrea Trovato, Presidente di DPO Innovation
  • Commercio Internazionale:
  1. Leonardo D’Urso, Mediatore presso ADR Center
  • Jerome Roth, Presidente di UIA – International Association of Lawyers
  • Artificial Intelligence & Human Rights:
  1. Alberto García Gómez, Professore Straordinario della facoltà di Bioetica, Direttore dell’Istituto di Bioetica e Diritti Umani e Chair dell’UNESCO
  • Adrian Zuckerman, Professore di Procedura Civile all’Università di Oxford
  • Paola Fudakowska, Presidente AIJA – International Association of Young Lawyers, la cui richiesta di partecipazione rimane pendente
  • Law Firm Management:
  1. Riccardo Zanon, avvocato e Consulente del Lavoro
  • Elsa Papadopoulou, Legal e Policy Officer presso l’European Innovation Council
  • Alejandro Perez, Legal Technology Advisor presso Chiomenti

   I soggetti istituzionali che intendiamo coinvolgere e con cui siamo in contatto sono:

  • UNESCO e UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights
  • Associazione Italiana Giuristi d’Impresa
  • Rappresentanza Italiana della Commissione Europea
  • European Company Lawyers Association
  • European Legal Tech Association