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Emory University’s Center for Ethics will host in May 2015 a major international summit on ethical and policy issues surrounding biotechnology.

“Biotechnology and the Ethical Imagination: A Global Summit (BEINGS)” will bring together the world’s premier thought leaders with two goals: to establish an aspirational vision for the highest and most desirable uses of advanced biotechnology; and to reach consensus on reasonable guidelines for cellular biotechnologies such as synthetic biology and stem cell research, as well as animal and human applications of advanced biotechnology.

“We have yet to gain consensus internationally on how we should think about, direct our biomedical research, or limit the application of its results,” says James Wagner, president of Emory who serves also as the vice-chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. “Open dialogue on the ethical concepts that will shape biotechnology’s contribution to human flourishing is critical, and this conference will provide an important forum for just that.”

“Emory is committed to bringing the together the world’s most prominent scientists, skilled policymakers, ethicists, philosophers, religious leaders and people from the arts and humanities to formulate a set of global standards for biotechnology,” says Paul Root Wolpe, director of Emory’s Center for Ethics and organizer of the conference. ”It will provide a much needed coherence to biotech policy worldwide.”

The summit is expected to include a faculty of 25 distinguished scholars, hundreds of delegates from the 30 top biotechnology-producing countries, and will accommodate up to 1,000 observers.

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