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Bioethics in Education

The National Bioethics Conferences for Schools

Since 2001, every year, National Bioethics Conferences for Schools, organised by the Italian Bioethics Institute in collaboration with Universities and Bioethics centres, and promoted by the National Bioethics Committee, have been held in different Italian regions.

The promoting efforts of the National Bioethics Committee are guided by the certainty that, through these Conferences, the Committee fulfils one of its institutional roles: the promotion of an appropriate information of public opinion on bioethics issues, which may be considered an extremely important task when dealing with young generations.

The Committee has therefore given a significant support to the Conferences, by participating actively at the scientific project and by encouraging  an effective participation of its members.
The Conferences are the result of a very clear project: foster the new generations’ interest for Bioethics through educational initiatives in schools, in order to inform them about the complex and delicate bioethics issues and convey a “different” message that goes beyond general mass-media communication.
The Conferences’ aims at stimulating a virtuous mechanism in order to allow young people to acquire knowledge and understanding on bioethics matters, through an educational program held by their teachers in collaboration with qualified experts. The ambitious goal is represented by the encouragement of a continuous and comprehensive bioethics education, that offers not only a theoretical knowledge of its history, but also the acquisition of “bioethics skills”; extremely significant in order to relate as responsible citizens to the ethics challenges set by scientific progress.

So far, such Conferences have involved various Secondary School students from different Italian regions. In line with a successfully tested working method, following the experts’ speeches, adequately trained students on the topics object of the Conferences, intervene through individual or group presentations;  becoming, in this way, co-stars and co-authors of the cultural event.

Past  National Bioethics Conferences for Schools:

  1. Bioethics and human rights - Capua 2001 
  2. Health metamorphosis - Genoa 2002
  3. Challenges of the genetic engineering - Messina 2003 
  4. European Convention on human rights and biomedicine - Genoa 2004 
  5. Human body among biology, biography and market - Pontedera 2006 
  6. Living on the Earth. Life’s responsibility between nature and culture - Volterra 2007 
  7. The Health Asset. 30 years after the institution of the National Health Service - Messina 2009 
  8. Possibilities and limits of genetic study - Pontedera 2010 
  9. Good to eat. Nutrition and food safety -  Salerno 2012 
  10. Bioethics and sport - Rome 2013
  11. Bioethics and neuroscience - Florence 2014
  12. Bioethical paradigms of care - Imperia 2015
  13. Roboethics. Bioethics and Robotics - Genoa 21-22 April 2017
  14. Bioethics and Scientific Research, Ariano Irpino 12-13 April 2019
  15. Covid-19: a challenge for bioethics, (Conference Live Streaming) 22 and 28 April 2021
  16. The Ethical Space: Aims, Functions and possible Scopes of Application – 2022 on line edition


The Conferences have always encouraged a wide participation: they have involved a great number of students coming from different regions of the Country, thus creating, through the years, a real “network” between schools interested in bioethics education, the organising bodies and the National Bioethics Committee.

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