China releases guidelines to strengthen governance over ethics in science, technology
Updated: March 21, 2022 06:57 Xinhua

BEIJING — China has released a set of guidelines to strengthen the governance over ethics in science and technology, given the rapid progress of the country's sci-tech innovation and the growing challenges facing ethics in the field.

Ethics compliance should be emphasized throughout the process of scientific research and technological development, according to the guidelines, which were issued by the General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council.

The governance should be based on laws and regulations, and should suit the conditions of the country, the document said. Opening-up and cooperation were also emphasized.

The document clarified the ethical principles in science and technology, saying that scientific activities should serve the well-being of humanity, respect people's right to life, adhere to fairness and justice, control risks in an appropriate way, and maintain openness and transparency.

It urged efforts to make and improve regulations and standards for ethics in key areas such as the life sciences, medicine and artificial intelligence, improve the rules and processes of ethical review, risk management and the handling of violations, and boost theoretical research in ethics.

Ethical review and regulations should be strengthened, the guidelines said. A contingency mechanism should also be prepared for public health emergencies.

Authorities should push colleges and universities, scientific research institutions, medical institutions, social groups and enterprises to improve the monitoring and early warning mechanism for ethical risks, and follow up development in emerging sci-tech fields.

Ethics education in science and technology, the institutionalization of ethical training programs and the popularization of ethical codes among the general public were also underlined in the document.

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