15 April 2010
The Global Ethics Observatory (GEObs) is a system of databases with worldwide coverage in bioethics and other areas of applied ethics in science and technology accessible via the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website. It is designed to serve as a resource hub of ethics activities around the world and advance ethics activities by assisting those interested in identifying experts, establishing ethics committees, constructing informed policies in the area of ethics, and designing ethics teaching curricula. As part of this initiative UNESCO has also launched Regional Documentation and Information Centres (RDIC) whose broad aims are to collect and disseminate information within particular regions and collaborate with GEObs. The first such centre was established in Lithuania in 2004 and followed by a second centre in Kenya in 2007. Last month a third centre was officially launched in Egypt to serve the Arab region (reported by SciDev Net).
The centre will be based at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ARST) in Cairo, and will be managed by regional and local committees of experts from UNESCO and Arab countries. Along with assisting the development of ethics databases and establishing ethics committees in the region, it would also promote setting ethics standards and running workshops, seminars and developing university curriculum related to ethics.