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uni'wissen 01-2015

also the German Research Foundation and the German National Academy of Sciences – has set down codes of practice for responsible risk management in research. “Although these codes are not legally binding, they can become legally relevant in decisions on awarding research fund- ing and in questions of liability. The key factor is how they are implemented,” explains Vöneky, who helped draft the code for Max Planck. The governing bodies and codes encroach on the freedom of research – a right guaranteed in the Basic Law, Germany’s constitution. For Vöneky, the key question is therefore the following: At what point do lawmakers need to rule on what research should be allowed and whether it should be approved? “The Federal Constitutional Court resolved that the legislative branch of whether and to what extent practices are permis- sible under German and European law as well as international law. In civil law, criminal law, and public law, moral and ethical standards come into play by way of flexibility clauses, where they refer to customs and morality. Legal provisions also contain references to ethical guidelines drawn up by specific professional groups – for instance in international law or in bylaws. “In the case of experiments on humans or stem-cell research, ethics commissions have also been constituted on a legal basis to rule on ethical issues in concrete individual cases – another example of the ethicalization of law,” Vöneky explains. Increasingly, new ethical guidelines are also being established for researchers: The Max Planck Society – and in 2014 Illustration: Kathrin Jachman, Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck; Map: Ekler/Fotolia Source: German Ethics Council (2014) (Ed.): Biosecurity – Freedom and Responsibility of Research; University of Freiburg, Institute of Public Law, Department 2 (International Law and Comparative Law). uni wissen 01 201534 Examples of security-related research 2012: Mutated variants of the bird flu virus H5N1 2001: Development of a “killer” mousepox virus 2002: Strengthening of a pathenogenicity factor of the vaccinia virus Examples of bioterrorism 1993: Attacks by the Aum Shinrikyo Cult (Bacillus anthracis) 1984: Attacks by the Rajneeshee Cult (Salmonella typhimurium) 2001: Anthrax attacks (Bacillus anthracis) Biosecurity Worldwide Examples of guidelines and rules on biosecurity Germany 2008/2014: German Research Foundation 2008: BIO Deutschland 2010: Max Planck Society 2012: Leibniz Association 2013: Robert Koch Institute 2014: German Ethics Council 2010: World Health Organization 2009: International Gene Synthesis Consortium 2007: National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity 2012: United States Government Policies 2007: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences the freedom the Basic Vöneky, followin to rule and “Th re sis to rule on al cases – on of law,” s are ers: 14 uni wissen 01201534