In 2015, the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science is awarded for the fourth time. The winner of the 2015 edition is the Pakistani Professor of Biotechnology and bioethicist, Zabta Khan Shinwari.
Professor Zabta Khan Shinwari was designated the laureate of the Prize by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, upon the recommendation of an independent International Jury of scholars and ethicists. The Jury stressed that Professor Shinwari could be a role model in the area of ethics of science because he combines an outstanding personal commitment to ethically responsible research and responsible science with high academic standards of scientific research, education and management.
The Prize will be awarded at an official ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 4 November 2015, at 7.30 p.m. in Room IX.
The Director-General of UNESCO will award the Prize to Prof. Zabta Khan Shinwari in the presence of H.E. Mr Mohammad Farhadi, Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Islamic Republic of Iran, donor of the Prize, H. Exc. Mr Ahmad Jalali, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran to UNESCO, and Prof. Marie-Hélène Parizeau, Chairperson, International Jury of the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science (2015) and the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST), and Ms Nada Al-Nashif, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences.
Intended to honour the activities of individuals and groups in the field of ethics in science, the Prize encourages ethical reflection on questions raised by scientific and technological advances - a goal that coincides with UNESCO’s priorities.
Established in 2002 by UNESCO’s Executive Board on the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Prize has been awarded biennially since 2004, and it may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations.
The first Avicenna Prize was awarded to Professor Margaret Somerville, Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at the McGill University in Montreal (Canada). The second Prize was awarded in 2006 to Professor Abdallah S. Daar, Director of the Program in Applied Ethics and Biotechnology at the University of Toronto (Canada). In 2009, the third Avicenna Prize was awarded to Professor Renzong Qiu, Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy (People’s Republic of China).
The Prize consists of a gold Avicenna medal, a certificate and the sum of USD10,000. The Prize-winner also is invited to pay a one-week academic visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, during which he/she will deliver speeches in the relevant academic gatherings, organized for this purpose by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Donor of the Prize.