Vaccines, Anti-Vaccination Movements and Communication

This October, Prof. Alberto Garcia, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, will participate in the Workshop “Vaccines, Anti-Vaccination Movements and Communication (Fake News)” within the project COMPARE that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 643476. The panel is multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral precisely because the meeting’s objective is not to discuss vaccines but trying to understand why citizens often do believe in false myths or fake news. The first day will be dedicated to the analysis of the communication among politicians, patients and journalists, while the second day will be focused on the analysis of the “correlation” that exists between vaccines and autism. In this context Prof. Alberto Garcia will have the possibility to share the results of the research on vaccines and guidelines of Informed Consent carried out during the year through the i-Consent project within the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 741856. Read the program by clicking on this link.

Press Release – Human Dignity and Human Rights of Refugees


Press Release

Human Dignity and Human Rights of Refugees

A debate to improve clarity and promote social inclusion




The UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights, Rome, in collaboration with the Scalabrini international Migration Institute (SIMI) and other institutions, has organized a day dedicated to a debate on “Human Dignity and Human Rights of Refugees” within the project “Europe Citizens for Solidarity”- Eurosol, financed under the Europe For Citizens Programme of the European Commission, in Rome November 27. The public forum will be held at Aula Master dell’Università Europea di Roma e dell’Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.


The forum will be divided into three sessions; each session will discuss a subject linked to the refugees’ situation from a bioethical and human rights perspective. The first session will be dedicated to Refugees: Threat or Opportunity? Context, Causes and Perspectives. The Refugees’ Situation: The Voice of the Protagonists, with the intervention of Fr. Aldo Skoda, Director of SIMI, followed by Rights and Duties of the Refugee from a Bioethics Perspective, and concluding with Refugee’s Integration from an Intercultural and Religious Perspective.


The forum’s objective is to promote intercultural dialogue and to find creative solutions and proposals by sharing knowledge and competency. Experts, refugees, migrants, politicians interested in the current challenge will be the protagonists of this debate. Among the authorities present will be the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human rights Director, Dr. Alberto Garcia, SIMI’s Director, Fr. Aldo Skoda, Giorgio de Acutis of the Italian Red Cross – Comitato Area Metropolitana di Roma Capitale (Area sociale), and Dr. Veronica Roldan expert in Sociology and Methodology of Social Research.

Moreover, international organization, such as Fundación Altius Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Spain Dirección General de Servicios Sociales de Integración Social, Madrid, Spain BIDA e V. Kultur und Bildung, Suhl, Germany Erevnitiko Idrima P.L. Nicosia, Cyprus, European Information Centre, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Stowarzyszenie B-4, Rzeszòw, Poland, Viesoji istaiga Vilniaus Verslo Kolegija, Vilnius, Lithuania, Diagrama Foundation Psychosocial Intervention, Dunstable, United Kingdom will take part in the forum.

For details visit:

For further information and to sign-up send an email to:


Ateneo Regina Apostolorum – Ufficio Stampa

Michela Coluzzi –

Università Europea di Roma – Ufficio Stampa

Carlo Climati –

Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190 – 00163, Roma



Missionari Scalabriniani  – Ufficio Stampa

Via Dandolo, 58 – 00153, Roma






09:40 Welcome and Registration

09:50 Official photo: authorities and special guests

10:00 Event Opening

10:05 Dr. Alberto García, UNESCO Chair Director’s speech

10:15 Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum Representative’s Speech, Fr. José Oyarzún, L.C.

10:25 Fundación Altius Francisco de Vitoria Director’s Speech Clara Ubeda


10:55 Debate among students and final evaluation by the speaker

11:35 Official photo # 1 – Coffee break

11:45 Second Conference “REFUGEES’ SITUATION: THE VOICE OF THE PROTAGONISTS” Italian Red Cross, Dr. Giorgio de Acutis

12:45 Conference ending and official photo # 2 – Recognition # 2


13:15 Debate among students and final evaluation by the speaker.

13:55 Official photo # 3 – Recognition # 3

14:05 Lunch “Migrants’ Specialties”

14:55 Explanation of the photograph panel “The Refugees’ Travel”

15:05 Explanation of the Fasasi’s exhibition and Migrants’ Empanadas


15:50 Debate among students and final evaluation by the speaker

16:30 Official photo # 4 – Recognition # 4 / Coffee break

16:35 Cultural Event

17:15 Distribution of the certificates to students

17:20 Closing Event


UNESCO Chair collaborates in new online Bioethics Diploma program

The UNESCO Chair collaborated in the launch of a new online Bioethics Diploma through the Universidad Anahuac Mexico, which began on January 16, 2017. The program will be open to the next cycle of students on July 10, 2017. A summary of the course can be read here.

The program trains those students interested in the defense of life, the dignity of the person, human duties and values, the preservation of health, or the individual and social well-being. Students should also possess a disposition for an interdisciplinary investigation that integrates philosophical, juridical, and medical approaches to investigate the chief challenges facing contemporary society. Moreover, they should possess the capacity to recognize and react to the impact scientific and technological advances have upon society.

Graduates of the diploma will be empowered for a wide range of professional services. They will be prepared to form interdisciplinary teams to reach better decision in their professional field. Graduates will also be equipped to support, assist, and give counsel to both hospital bioethics committees as well as other ethical committees of investigation. They will thus be able to analyze and propose concrete solutions to ethical dilemmas using the method of personalist Bioethics learned in their online course work.

Prospective students have until May 31, 2017 to submit all requested documents. For more information, please visit the Bioethics Faculty’s website here.

Plantilla Flyer Posgrado

Religion & Violence

In the Ethos Institute feature article “Religion & Violence,” UNESCO Chair Fellow Joseph Tham clarifies the often-misunderstood relationship between religious belief and the violent events that unfortunately fill news outlets. An excerpt from Tham’s article follows. The full text is found here.


We have recently witnessed tragic events of violence in many parts of the world.  The massacres in Belgium, Paris, and Pakistan, the shooting in California, the tension in Jerusalem, and the terrorist attacks in Turkey, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and Tunisia are but a few examples.  While many of these assaults are attributed to fanatics of Islamic extremism, there is an unspoken thesis that their religious conviction is the seed of such violence.  People like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens would like to brand all religious beliefs under the same banner of intolerance and hate.

What is the relationship between religious beliefs and violence?  Are monotheistic religions more prone to violence than polytheistic or Asian ones?  Does belief in a One True God translate into proselytization and the intolerant suppression all other “false” gods?  How do we explain the different passages in the Bible or the Koran that advocate violence towards unbelievers?


Image note: White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall (1938 oil on canvas) depicts Jesus as a Jewish martyr of the Nazi’s horrendous anti-religious persecutions.