Convened by Associazione Luca Coscioni, with Nonviolent Radical Party.
The second World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels from the 5th to the 7th March 2009. Among the speakers there will be Martin Evans, Nobel Prize in Medicine 2007; Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1993; Martin L. Perl, Nobel Prize in Physics 1995; Bernat Soria, Spanish Minister of Health; Laurette Onkelinx, Belgian Minister of Health and Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research. A draft programme and the concept paper of the event are now available, together with abstracts and biographies of confirmed speakers (in English and Italian).
The main organizer of this event is the Luca Coscioni Association, founded in 2002 by Luca Coscioni, Radical leader who past away in February 2006, at only 39 after having suffered for 10 years from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. During the Italian political election of 2001, 50 Nobel Prize laureates supported his bid for the Chamber of Deputies in the same list of former European Commissioner Emma Bonino in order to uphold his struggle for research on embryonic stem cells.
The main objectives of the Association - which are summed up in the slogan “from the heart of the patient to the heart of politics” are:
- the promotion of freedom of scientific research and cure;
- the promotion of projects and technologies for an "Independent Living";
- the ascertainment of civil and political rights of patients and people with disabilities.
The first meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research took place in February 2006 in Rome at the City's Capital Hill. Scientists, legislators, academics and representatives of the civil society from Europe, North America and Middle East participated. The meeting ended with the approval of a declaration which defined the freedom of scientific research as a “requirement for democracy, a political and civil right, and one of the most important safeguards for the health and wellbeing of Human being, to the extent that no harm is done to others”. The Congress decided to constitute itself as a “permanent Forum” also in order to “organise initiatives against obscurantist and repressive proposals” taking place in the World.
The success of the Congress, contributed to the funding of research projects on stem cells by the European Commission, following an international appeal and mobilisation launched in Rome. Already two years before, in 2004, during the Constituent Session of the World Congress, Luca Coscioni Association and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, launched a global mobilization that managed to stop the tentative of an UN resolution to ban research on stem cells (in particular the nuclear transfer technique, inappropriately called “therapeutic clonation”), thanks to a transnational campaign, launched in Rome in cooperation with the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty.
Three years after the first meeting, the second aims to deepen the issues faced in 2006, in order to discuss new transnational initiatives and to strengthen the World Congress as permanent seat of analyse and support for freedom of research and cure in the World. In Brussels, we will talk about different themes, from the political manipulation of science to the existing relation between science and religion; from bioethics to reproductive medicine, trying always to link the scientific and political current events with the needs of the patients or people with disabilities.