UNESCO Chair in Bioethics

Information and inscription

  • Bioethics and Law Observatory
  • UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
  • University of Barcelona
  • Ave. Diagonal 684,
    Faculty of Law
  • 08034 Barcelona
  • Tel. (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • obd.ub@ub.edu

Ibero-American Network International Association of Bioethics (IAB)


Coordinators

 


Why an Ibero-American network?

The Ibero-American network includes Latin American countries as well as Spain and Portugal.

While geographical, historical and idiomatic differences makes this group of latin countries heterogeneous they also share common features in their “Latin” traditions, historical connections, and the strong presence of the Roman Catholic religion. So, even though dissimilarities exist between these countries, there are common ties that impact on their understanding of bioethical problems.

This network wishes to promote a dialogue and a deep understanding of the similarities and differences among these societies. It also wants to foster research and a critical analysis without a dogmatic or religious view. Moreover, it aims at boosting new and creative interactions among academics of these different countries.

“One of the main goals of this network is to foster the value of free, open, and reasoned discussion of the bioethical problems that Ibero-America faces or that may be of interest to the people of this region.”

One of the innovations that this network proposes is the possibility to carry out its activities in the main languages of the region (Spanish and Portuguese). Our experience has confirmed that language has often proved to be an obstacle for bioethical debate: even when participants of IAB Congresses make the effort to understand a lecture and communicate in English ―which is the official language of the IAB―, it is far more difficult for them to express themselves accurately. Hence, presenting their own work and discussing it in English has become a barrier for many Ibero-American researchers. With this initiative we seek to lift this barrier and help those in the region benefit from everything the IAB Congress can offer.


Background

The Ibero-American network initiated its activities on an informal basis during the 8th World IAB Congress of Bioethics in Beijing (2006). Its active organizers were initially Debora Diniz (ANIS, Brazil) and Florencia Luna (FLACSO, Argentina). After the first session Asunción Alvarez (Bioethics College A.C., Mexico) and Maria Casado (Bioethics and Law Observatory, Spain) joined us and became elected members of the board. This has led to a balanced spread of activities with centers and persons in strategic parts of Ibero-America: Argentina and Brazil in South America (Brazil being the Portuguese language member of the network), Mexico as another focus of influence in North and Central America, and Spain as the European section of this network. The research centers and persons involved in its organization enable the network to conduct key regional activities.

“The Ibero-American network of IAB aims at promoting debate and a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences between the societies of the different countries from South America, Spain and Portugal, as well as at fostering research and critical analysis drawing away from dogmatic or religious approaches.”

Since the 9th IAB World Congress that was hold in Rijeka (Croatia) where this network was formally presented, several activities have been developed. Since then, sessions of the Ibero IAB Network are officially held during the IAB World Congresses (for instance, 2014 in Mexico City and 2016 in Edinburgh). Moreover, the network carries out its own meetings during the periods between each of the IAB Congresses take place. Three of these meetings have already been held. The first one was held in Buenos Aires and organized by FLACSO (2007), the second took place in Brasilia, organized by the Federal Council of Medicine-CFM (2011) and finally the third meeting was celebrated in Madrid and was organized by the Bioethics and Law Observatory of the University of Barcelona and the CSIC (2015). The next meeting will take place in Mexico (2017) under the organization of the Bioethics Seminar of the UNAM and the Bioethics College A.C.


Objectives

One of the main goals of this network is to foster the value of free, open, and reasoned discussion on many of the bioethical problems that Ibero-America faces or that may be of interest to the people of this region. We believe that this goal is in accordance with the London Declaration adopted by the Board of Directors at its 5th World Congress in September 2000. The Declaration insists on the fact that bioethics play a central role in fostering the professional and public debate, and notes that in many countries and cultures basic freedom of discussion and disagreement is upheld and promoted. But it must be acknowledge that this freedom is imperiled in other countries and cultures, where there is widespread reluctance to discuss problems openly and the reasoned solution may run counter to established opinions and traditions. The Declaration also affirms that in public discourse, no individual or group can claim to have exclusive knowledge of the “right” ethical solution and that only reasoned and open debate can lead to justifiable conclusions. We think this network can foster this open thinking throughout the region.

“The network is composed of several hubs that provide work and experience from strategic research institutions, such as ANIS (Brazil), FLACSO (Argentina), National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Bioethics College A.C. (Mexico), and the Bioethics and Law Observatory – UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona (Spain).”

As was mentioned in the previous section, language is sometimes a barrier to international academic meetings. One of the tools to ensure a successful debate and reasoned discussion is by helping people express themselves allowing them to participate in their own language (Spanish and Portuguese). However, because it is also important to preserve links with English speakers, it may be advisable to include power point presentations in English, as well as an English version of the abstracts or handouts so they can also benefit from Ibero-american research. We believe that incorporating these other languages fosters the spirit of the IAB by providing a pluralistic space not only for ideas but also for languages, allowing and empowering people that do not feel comfortable speaking in a foreign language to do so in their own.


Description

The network is composed of several hubs that provide work and experience from strategic research institutions, such as ANIS (Brazil), FLACSO (Argentina), National Autonomous University of Mexico and the Bioethics College A.C. (Mexico), and the Bioethics and Law observatory – UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona (Spain). All of these research centers have been working together for many years in order to ensure a regional diversity and a collaborative spirit that we seek to deepen. For example, FLACSO’s journal (Perspectivas Bioéticas) printed by FLACSO for 20 years merged in 2016 with the Bioethics and Law Journal (Revista de Bioética y Derecho) from the University of Barcelona (published online since 2004). This action has brought together synergies to make visible the bioethics research and the development of bioethical knowledge produced in the languages and realities in which the Ibero-American network of IAB operates. In this journal regularly publishes the best studies and contributions from the Ibero-American network of IAB.

The Ibero-American network of IAB is chaired by Florencia Luna, who also carries out general coordination activities of the network together with María Casado. Each hub has also appointed a coordinator: Jorge Linares and Patricio Santillán for Mexico and Central America, Debora Diniz for Brazil and other Portuguese speaking countries, Florencia Luna for Argentina and the Southern Cone, and María Casado for Europe.


How to join?

  • Send your Curriculum Vitae updated.
  • Send a letter explaining why do you want to be part of the network.

Candidates need to be members of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB).

The documents must be submitted to the address rediberoiab[@]gmail.com


Activities


Links