Initiators: Tobias Cantz (Hannover) and Sara Gerke (Cambridge, US)
The GSCN working group ELSA (‘Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of the Modern Life Sciences’) aims to serve as a Germany-wide interdisciplinary platform for information exchanges, discussions and analyses on current ethical, legal and social challenges of basic and applied stem cell research in Germany. For example, ELSA may facilitate the process of harmonization to simplify the daily workload of researchers by translating relevant documents such as applicable laws, guidelines and recommendations into English and/or German. The results of scientific-medical, ethical, legal and/or social analyses on the latest developments in the field of stem cell research shall feed into the development of guidance.
Moreover, the working group together with the working groups "Public engagement and outreach activities" and "Patient information (stem cell therapies)" aims to promote public awareness, education and the political debate by organizing interdisciplinary expert meetings, workshops and other events. ELSA also intends to foster talented young scholars, such as through offering travel awards to international stem cell conferences.
The key questions of the working group are:
- What are the ethical, legal and social challenges of basic and applied stem cell research in Germany?
- To what extent are structures and processes harmonized?
- How can arising challenges be adequately overcome?
- Are there any ethical, legal and social shortcomings?