December 19, 2009

CHINA: Chinese professor, 77, receives 2009 Avicenna Prize for Bioethics

. PARIS, France / UNESCO / Xinhua / December 19, 2009 The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has awarded the 2009 Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science to Professor Renzong Qiu from the People’s Republic of China, a pioneer in the field of bioethics Chinese professor Qiu Renzong received the 2009 Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science in Paris on Friday at the headquarters of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). © UNESCO/Niamh Burke At the ceremony, UNESCO Deputy Director-general Marcio Barbosa granted Qiu a gold medal and a certificate commemorating his contribution to the field of ethics, as well as an envelope that possibly contains the 10,000-U.S.-dollar cheque prize. Barbosa, as well as jury representatives of the committee of the Avicenna Prize, spoke highly of Qiu's research in the ethics of science and steadfast public advocacy of ethical issues related to science. Bioethics promotes "responsible scientific research, and makes sure that the research benefits humanity rather than does harms. It includes protection for animals and the environment," Professor Qiu said in his speech, describing the honor as a recognition of his Chinese colleagues' collective endeavor. China has realized the importance of bioethics, but there is still a long way to go, Qiu added. Professor Qiu, 77, made a leading contribution to ethical policy with over 20 volumes and nearly 280 articles published on ethical issues and guidelines drafted for researchers and policy-makers, besides his work on life-sustaining technology. Qiu is currently an emeritus senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Chinese Academy of Social Science and professor and chairperson of the Academic Committee at the Center for Bioethics at the Peking Union Medical College. The biennial Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science, named after the 11th-century physician and philosopher Abu Ali al-Husain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina, known in Europe as Avicenna, aims to encourage activities of individuals or groups in the field of ethics in science. Chinese Ambassador to UNESCO Shi Shuyun and her Iranian counterpart Reza Majidi also attended the ceremony and delivered speeches. [rc] Source: Xinhua Copyright by People's Daily