Program – 5th Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

Provisional Agenda

5th Meeting of the

World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

11 to 13 April 2018

European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, Brussels

“SCIENCE AND DEMOCRACY: towards the human right to science”

 Wednesday, 11 April

(Room A5E-2)

14:00 – 14:40: Opening session

Chair: Filomena GALLO, Secretary, Associazione Luca Coscioni (ALC); Marco GENTILI, co-President, ALC


  • Carlos MOEDAS, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation (TBC)
  • Michele DE LUCA, Center for Regenerative Medicine University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, co-President, ALC
  • Sandro GOZI, Undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
  • Alberto ALEMANNO, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Regulation, Founder of “The Good Lobby”

14:40 – 17:00: “Scientific method and liberal-democracy”

Political issues on the top of the agenda: public health, artificial intelligence, migration, global warming, need policies based on facts that should be evaluated upon results. Politicians should engage scientist and patients, while scientists should interact with society and decision-makers.

Chair: Marco CAPPATO, Treasurer, ALC, former MEP

  • Gianni PITTELLA, President, European Socialists and Democrats
  • Mikel MANCISIDOR, vice-Chair of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Tracey BROWN, Director, Sense for Science
  • Jessica WYNDHAM, Director, AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program
  • Deborah LIPSTADT, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University, Georgia: “Holocaust Denial: A prototype for scientific denialism
  • Walt ORENSTEIN, former director of the United States’ National Immunization Program: “The impact of anti-vaccine movements on personal and public health
  • Guido SILVESTRI,  Chief of the Division of Microbiology & Immunology at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Professor and Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, Georgia: “AIDS research and AIDS denialism: when pseudo-science kills
  • Michał BONI, MEP, EPP, former Minister of welfare and digitisation, Poland: “Multidimensional phenomenon of ‘Fake news’”
  • Carl HART, Columbia University, “Science and politics

Thursday, 12 April

(9:00 to 12:00, Room A5E-2)

9:00  to 12.00: “Human genome editing, embryos and regenerative medicine: Better understanding for Better regulation”

Chair: Stephen MINGER, Director, SLM Blue Skies; Marisa JACONI, Geneva University

  • Andrea BOGGIO, Bryant University, Board ALC
  • Cesare P.R. ROMANO, Loyola Law School, Board ALC
  • Toni CATHOMEN, director Medical Center – University of  Freiburg Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Gene Therapy
  • Gianni BUTTARELLI, European Data Protection Supervisor
  • Malin PARMAR, Lund University
  • Pete COFFEY, UCL, London
  • Giulio COSSU, Manchester University
  • Beatriz BECERRA, MEP ALDE Group, Spain
  • Emma BONINO, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Italy
  • Mirella PARACHINI, Gynaecologist, Board ALC

(14.00 to 17.30, Room A3G2)

14:00 – 17:30: “Modern agricultural biotechnology calling”

Chair: John BRENNAN, Executive Director, EuropaBio; MEP (tbc); Marco PERDUCA, Board ALC, former Senator

14:00 Welcome, Key Note Speech: “Challenges in evaluating risks in food

  • Vytenis ANDRIUKAITIS, European Commissioner for Health and for Food security:

14:30 “State of play of genome editing and modern agri-biotech”

What is genome editing, and why use it in agriculture? What do the scientific institutions say about risks and opportunities, and which steps towards legal certainty?

  • Janusz BUJNICKI, Professor,Member of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism
  • Joachim SCHIEMANN, Professor, on behalf of the European Academies of Science Advisory Council (EASAC)

15:00 “The CRISPR era”

Genome editing techniques like CRISPR are opening up new possibilities in many fields including plant breeding. When will and should the innovation reach farmers and consumers?

  • Rene CUSTERS, VIB – Flemish Institute of Biotechnology
  • Paul TEMPLE, UK Farmer
  • Nora ALONSO, CEO of Iden Biotechnology
  • Arnaud SCHWARTZ, France environment, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee( EESC)

16:15 “Innovation, precaution and democracy: A right to science?

Scientific evidence is one factor in EU decision making, but there are ‘other legitimate factors’. Should a democracy stop unpopular innovation?

Chair: Roberto DEFEZ, National Council of Research, Italy

  • Andrea BOGGIO, Bryant University, Board ALC
  • Dirk HUDIG, Secretary General, European Risk Forum
  • David ZARUK, risk and science communicator, adjunct professor at Université Saint-Louis Brussel and KUL Brussel
  • José Miguel MULET, Author and Professor of Biotechnology, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia

Friday, 13 April

(09.00 to 13.00, room A3G2)

9:00 to 11.30: “Research on psychotropic substances: knowledge vs prohibition = treatment

Chair: Kasia MALINOWSKA, Open Society Foundations (tbc); Tania RE, UNESCO Chair, Genoa; Marco TRAUB, CEO of TransEuropeanStemCellTherapyConsortium (TESCT), Switzerland

  • Rick DOBLIN, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, MDMA
  • Amanda FIELDING, Beckley Foundation, Psylocibin/LSD
  • Raphael MECHOULAM, cannabis
  • Franz X. VOLLENWEIDER, Psylocibin
  • Ben SESSA, Psychedelics and MDMA therapy
  • Carl HART, Columbia University bias contro la marijuana
  • Jordi RIBA, Ayahuasca

11.30 to 13:00: “Conclusions: initiatives for the right to science

  • Gilberto CORBELLINI, National Council of Research, Italy “Scientific research, yesterday, today and tomorrow
  • Benedetto DELLA VEDOVA, Under-secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Italy

Chair: Marco CAPPATO and Marco PERDUCA