The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has awarded the 2009 Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science to Professor Renzong Qiu from the People’s Republic of China, a pioneer in the field of bioethics
Professor Qiu will receive the prize, which consists of a certificate, a gold medal commemorating his contribution to the field of ethics and a cheque for US$10,000, at a ceremony on 18 December at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Room XI, 3 p.m.).
The committee of the Avicenna Prize noted that Professor Qiu’s research in the ethics of science and steadfast public advocacy of ethical issues related to science have established him as a major figure not only in the Chinese academic community but worldwide. His work on life-sustaining technology, assisted reproduction technology, public health and cloning has been supplemented by political initiatives in ethical policy. He has published over 20 volumes and nearly 280 articles on ethical issues and drafted guidelines for researchers and policy-makers.
Professor Qiu is currently an Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy (People’s Republic of China) and Professor and Chairperson of the Academic Committee at the Centre for Bioethics at the Peking Union Medical College. He also serves as the Vice-President of the Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health and is a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on AIDS and Human Rights.
Professor Qiu’s keynote lecture at the award ceremony for the Avicenna Prize will be included with a selection of his papers on the ethics of science and technology in a volume to be published by UNESCO in 2010.
Established by UNESCO’s Executive Board on the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science rewards every two years the activities of individuals or groups in the field of ethics in science. The Prize is named after the 11th-century physician and humanist philosopher Abu Ali al-Husain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina (980-1038), known in Europe as Avicenna.