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BIONET - a digital programme on Life Sciences


On 14 November ECSITE has launched BIONET (, a European collaborative project to present for public debate controversial ethical, legal and social issues in contemporary Life Sciences.

Based on a multi-lingual website and a programme of linked events, BIONET has been developed by 8 European science centres and museums with funding from the European Commission.

The website introduces 6 current Life Science issues that raise profound ethical, legal and social dilemmas:

- "Stem cells", exploring the latest research on stem cells
- "Living longer", a look at ageing and the possibility to extend our live span
- "Future food", the controversies behind genetically modified food
- "Living with HIV", looking at the progress in drug development and its impact on society
- "Who owns your genes?", the debate behind information access of one’s own DNA
- "Design-a-baby?", a look at parental selection techniques.

Throughout the web-site, users can learn about the latest scientific techniques, explore the latest applications and participate in on-line debate about the critical issues.

Users are invited to play interactive games, watch animations and videos, and answer quizzes. They will also have the possibility to vote on key issues and compare their opinions with those of other users and policy-makers.

BIONET has a number of unique features. For the first time, it will present on the web:

- A comprehensive overview of the legal situation in 8 European countries on the issues explored in BIONET;
- A debate area in 9 European languages where users can openly and safely discuss;
- A program of events in each of the partner institutions where citizens can join experts for live discussions and debates.

BIONET was developed by:

- At-Bristol, Bristol, UK
- The Science Museum, London, UK
- La Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris, FR
- Heureka, the Finnish Science Center, Vantaa, FIN
- The Experimentarium, Kopenhagen, DK
- The Deutsches Museum, Munich, DE
- The Museu de la Ciéncia de la Fundació "la Caixa", Barcelona, ES
- The Museu de Ciéncia da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, PT

Andrea Bandelli | alfa
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