The most important component of the BIONET collaboration is a series of 6 workshops and conferences. The workshops are designed to feed into two overall conferences scheduled to be held in April 2008 and August 2009. It is on the basis of these workshops and conferences that BIONET will be able to gather an evidence base which can be useful for policy makers, researchers, bio-ethicists and others interested in developments in the life sciences. The workshops and conferences will focus on three key areas – reproductive and regenerative medicine, clinical trials and, genomic research and biobanking – and will in particular look at how issues of ethical governance, informed consent and benefit sharing come into play around these forms of research and practice in China and Europe, with a specific focus on research collaborations between the two regions.
BIONET workshops have a number of objectives, the most important of which is to foster mutual understanding of cultural particularities and differences not just between Europe and China but also within these two vast regions. The workshops have been designed to feed into two BIONET conferences. The particular aims of workshops are:
• To provide a platform for scholars with different cultural and academic backgrounds to improve understanding
• To provide capacity building for a range of professionals across China who are involved in research, research ethics and decision making in these areas, including members of ethics review boards
• To explore differences in approaches, and current themes around, ethical review and regulation, particularly around informed consent
• To enhance understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to the regulation of biomedical research and practice
• To gather evidence of problems, cases and practices in the ethical governance of research in this area, as they are experienced on the ground by different professional groups in different regions in relation to different issues.
• To define lines of future studies in the clinics of doctor/patient relationships, and on other issues which may arise
• To facilitate the development of evidence based social scientific research on ethics, and awareness of the need to research the experience and views of patients and research subjects.
• To learn from each other about the ethical governance of ART.
Participation in workshops is by invitation only. Please contact Dr. Ole Döring for more information.