Master in Food Ethics and Law

UNESCO Chair in Bioethics


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


UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at University of Barcelona




The UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona, founded in 2007, frames its work on the respect and promotion of human rights and advocates a conception of multidisciplinary, flexible and secular bioethics. It is based on the experience gained by the OBD in the fields of research and training, while promotes the knowledge transfer to other countries through networking.

It is part of the group of nine UNESCO Chairs in Bioethics established around the world, being the only one in the Spanish state in this field. It is also part of the UNITWIN Network of UNESCO Chairs world and the Catalan Group of UNESCO Chairs.


Professor of Philosophy of Law, University of Barcelona.
Founder of the Bioethics and Law Observatory at the University of Barcelona; director from its creation, in 1995, to 2021.
Founder of the Master in Bioethics and Law at the University of Barcelona, and its director until 2021.
Chairholder of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics at the University of Barcelona.


Bioethics and Law Observatory, University of Barcelona
Avda. Diagonal 684, Faculty of Law, University of Barcelona. 08034 Barcelona (SPAIN)
Telf./Fax: (0034) 93 403-45-46
E-mail: unescochair[@]


  • To contribute to a global, plural and multidisciplinary discussion on the principles and fields of study of the Bioethics, in the framework of the recognized Human Rights.
  • To promote an integrated activities system of research, formation and dissemination in Bioethics, and facilitate collaboration among researchers and professors of the universities and institutions of higher education in Spain, Europe and Latin America.
  • To boost the transfer of the experience acquired in the OBD to developing countries in the fields of research, education and knowledge transfer, while sharing its methodology and formation actions.

General Approach

Interdisciplinary thought on aspects concerning ethical, legal and social matters in biotechnology and biomedicine is an issue of paramount importance and –given that Bioethics comprises the analysis of the impact of biotechnologies upon human beings and the environment– constitutes a priority in all national, regional and international programs.

One conception of Bioethics such as the one we defend, an interdisciplinary approach, both plural and flexible, contributes an essential added value to development, promotes the existence of informed public opinion, involves citizens in the debate and contributes towards adopting transparent, democratic public policies which concern us all. Hence it is necessary to cooperate in transferring knowledge within this field by training professionals who may also act as teachers in developing countries which, despite not possessing the aforementioned biotechnologies, could suffer from their effects.


The new UNESCO Chair in Bioethics has been created to spread a multidisciplinary, global and flexible concept of bioethics which will be in line with thought within the framework of recognized Human Rights. The aim is to extend the work done at the Bioethics and Law Observatory to the fields of research, teaching, spreading these ideas and communicating with public authorities. We aim to convey the experience gained to developing countries by providing them with the necessary methodology and training.



a) Interuniversity Seminar in Bioethical Research

This will be carried out by using a combined system which relies on collaboration with universities in which there already exists a certain level of development in Bioethics (Argentina, Brazil and Chile) and provides a transfer of knowledge for teaching purposes to other countries and universities which may decide to become associated. The number of universities and countries benefiting from the transfer of knowledge will grow in line with the consolidation of its operations and once it is viable to extend its range. The aim is to extend it to all countries in Latin America and, subsequently, to include all countries in the Caribbean and French speaking Africa.

b) Visiting Professors:

We aim to be able to create a program for visiting researchers at the Bioethics and Law Observatory (UB) and at universities which are members of the Networks which will be developed depending upon the funds available.


Training Methods

a) To prepare a program by resorting to the new technologies, to teach Bioethics in the universities that wish to become associates and those participating in the Networks coordinated by the Bioethics and Law Observatory.

b) To train teachers through a Scholarship program which can be adjusted to suit the funds provided, allowing access to the Master in Bioethics and Law to people in developing countries and promote exchange programs between teachers and students.

c) To train professionals who are involved in the different stages of health matters (ethic committees in hospitals and especially health management) since there exists a huge need to train professionals in the health sector who work in areas where there are no experts in Bioethics and who, however, are needed by Hospitals and Research Centers.

d) To establish a scholarship program for the Master in Bioethics and Law aimed at developing countries. The Scholarship Program for studies in the Master in Bioethics and Law at Barcelona University will comprise several types of scholarships (part, whole, exemption from registration fees, etc.).


Conveying Information

A support program will be offered for Ethic Committees, specifically aimed at providing response to the new needs of an intercultural society, which Spain is rapidly becoming, since precisely the support for creating and introducing these committees is one of UNESCO’s priorities.

To carry out interdisciplinary research, transfer of ideas and training tasks we shall resort to experience acquired at the University of Barcelona’s Bioethics and Law Observatory.

UNESCO Declarations


Reports of UNESCO's International Bioethics Committee


UNESCO Publications and files


UNESCO Bioethics links

Reports from other committees