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Home > About ICSU > Structure > Committees > Freedom & Responsibility

Freedom & Responsibility

Committee Members


Leiv K. Sydnes (Chair)


Leiv Sydnes, FRSC, obtained his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Oslo in 1978. After postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, he became professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway. He has been professor at the University of Bergen, Norway, since 1993. His research focused on development of synthetic methodology with the aim of preparing biologically active molecules, but he is also involved in integrated environmental research projects. He has also for years been involved in outreach activities with the aim of informing school children and the general public about chemistry. He has written a number of textbooks in chemistry at the high-school level, lectured widely for teachers, school children and the public about chemical topics, written newspaper articles about contemporary chemical challenges and made a number of TV programmes about chemistry in daily life. Leiv Sydnes continues to be heavily involved in a number of national and international organisations dealing with problems and challenges related to chemistry. He was elected Vice President of the International Organisation of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2001 and served in the presidential succession 2002-2007. Since 2008, he has chaired IUPAC’s Committee on Chemical Research Applied to World Needs (CHEMRAWN), which also dealt with ethical issues related to the practice of science. He has also for years been involved with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in connection with the revisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention and in discussions about educational and ethical issues.

Ashima Anand


Ashima Anand is a respiratory neurophysiologist with research interests in clinical sciences that integrate mechanisms of sensory transduction and respiratory control. She is currently based in a laboratory run by the Department of Science and Technology, at the V. P. Chest Institute, Delhi University. She is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS); a Member of the Third World Organization of Women in Science and the Physiological Society, UK. She has served on INSA’s Council and on committees for Science Promotion, Women Scientist Schemes, and Occupational Health Hazards of Women. She believes that where expertise or resources are limited, goals can be achieved by undertaking collaborative work; she accomplished this by successfully carrying out research projects with the Medical School in Shiraz, Iran. Maintaining ethics in science and adhering to scientific morals is one of her main interests and efforts. She pursues this fiercely both with regard to the conduct of science in the laboratory, with publications as a member and earlier Joint-Secretary of the Society of Scientific Values and, specifically, with regard to the various issues confronting modern biology, as a member of the Committee on Ethics of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) since 2002.

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Fatma Attia


Fatma Attia is a civil engineer by education, but obtained her PhD in groundwater hydrology from Cairo University. She started her scientific career in 1966 as a research assistant at the Research Institute of Groundwater, one of eleven institutes of the National Water Research Center, Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources, becoming its director in 1993. During the entire period, she has directed research studies and supervised a number of MSc and PhD students. In 1999, she started the "Groundwater Sector" within the same ministry, being the executive body responsible for the country’s groundwater operational management. Since 2004, she has chaired several projects involving various aspects of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in that ministry, while being Professor emeritus at the Research Institute of Groundwater. Fatma Attia has also served on international bodies, such as the Vice President of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), and a member of the RAC of MEDRIC, of the board of directors of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) and of the UNESCO Review Committee. She is still a member of the Board of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), of the TAC for both WWAR3 and 4, and of the IAC of the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

Edouard Brézin


Edouard Brézin is Professor emeritus of Physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, having conducted research work in field theory and statistical physics. He was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1991, which he presided during 2005-2006, and of whose human rights committee CODHOS (Comité des droits des hommes de science) he is a member. He is also a member of the Academia Europaea (2003-), a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002-), a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences (2003-), a foreign member of the Royal Society (2006-) and the Turkish Science Academy Society (Bilim Akademisi) established in 2011. Edouard Brézin chaired the board of the Centre nationale de recherche scientifique (CNRS) during 1992-2000 and chairs the scientific advisory council of the Ecole Polytechnique. He is a member of the scientific council of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, and of the CITP in Beijing as well as chair of the board of trustees of the Cyprus Institute. He shared the Dirac Medal 2011 for theoretical physics.

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Merry Bullock


Merry Bullock currently directs the International Affairs office at the American Psychological Association (APA). The office oversees APA’s involvement in international academic, research, and policy activities, coordinates APA’s UN representation, and serves as APA’s point of contact for international outreach and policy. She has served as an officer in the International Union of Psychological Science, and on international and national science and policy boards. Merry Bullock has edited or co-edited general and developmental journals, and books on international science and application. Her published psychology expertise spans developmental science (special emphasis on science education and early cognitive development), international science polic, and organisational development. She has lived, taught, and worked in university and policy settings in Canada, Estonia, Germany and in the United States.

Carol Corillon


Carol Corillon has worked with the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) of the US National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine since 1980, becoming its first director in 1984 – a position she continues to hold at present. The CHR uses the prestige and name recognition of the academies and their members to promote and protect the rights of unjustly imprisoned professional colleagues who have simply exercised their rights as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since 1993, Carol Corillon has also been the executive director of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, working with some 70 national science academies to monitor and address significant human rights issues that intersect with science, engineering and health. She has led a number of human rights missions, that have included Nobel Laureates, to countries in which colleagues were unjustly imprisoned or were facing an unfair trial, or had disappeared or been killed for political reasons. Carol Corillon works with international organisations to promote rights, with UNESCO to resolve cases and with Israeli and Palestinian scientists to promote cooperation through science. During 1980-1984, she worked for the National Research Council's Advisory Committee on the Sahel. She has written, edited or contributed to a number of publications in the fields of human rights and environmental rehabilitation. During the 1970's she was a free-lance journalist in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire at that time), writing for the Economist, Africa Confidential, and Reuters and voicing reports in French and English for the BBC radio. She has served on ICSU CFRS and its predecessor committees since 1994.

Hasan Dweik


Hasan Dweik has been the Executive Vice-President of Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem since 2005. With a PhD in Polymer Science and Technology from Aston University/UK (1983), he began his academic career at Al-Quds University in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, whose head he was during 1994-96. At that university, he was Head of the Food Technology Department (1997-99), Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (1999-2002) and Acting President (2004-05). He was also a Visiting Professor at the University of Akron/US. Hasan Dweik has widely published in polymer science and technology as well as on water pollution, water chemistry, solid waste management and environment, namely co-editing a volume on water resources in the Middle East. He is a member of several local NGO, international associations and societies. He is equally the director of the interactive Science Discovery Center and the interactive Mathematics Museum, both of which he established at Al-Quds University. Hasan Dweik is devoted to the advancement of science, science diplomacy and maintains a special interest in informal education.

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Alexander Kaminskii


Alexander A. Kaminskii began his research in the Department of Physics of Moscow State University in 1958. In 1964, he joined the Institute of Crystallography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he doctoral degrees in physical (1965) and mathematical sciences (1974) as well as the title of Full Professor (1982). Since 1981, in the same place he is the Head of Laser Crystal Physics Laboratory. In 2006, he was elected as a Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Since 2006, he has also been the Chairman of the Scientific Council on Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2008, he was elected and in 2011 reelected as a Vice-President-at-Large of IUPAP. Alexander Kaminskii made a great contribution to the development of modern laser physics and nonlinear optics as well as solid-state physics and spectroscopy of insulating crystalline materials from the early days of laser, the majority nonlinear crystals for Raman laser converters, as well as disordered lasing materials, etc. He proposed and realised many new types of lasers, among them cascade lasers, lasers with combined active media and solar pumping, which enriched possibilities of modern laser science and technologies. He has authored and co-authored more than 870 scientific papers in leading physical journals. Him belongs six books (published in Russia, USA, Germany, and China) on the physics of laser crystals. Presently, he is among of most quoted scientist in the field of experimental physics (more than 13’000 citations). Alexander Kaminskii was a recipient of several scientific prizes and awards for his original contributions in the field of laser physics and spectroscopy on crystalline materials including the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize (three times) and the Rozhdestvensky Prize from the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is Honorary Professor of the Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Laser Science of Tokyo University of Electro-Communications. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals Physica Status Solid (a)i, Material Science, Laser and Photonics Reviews, Quantum Electronics and Advances in Laser and Optical Technologies.

Akilagpa Sawyerr


Akilagpa Sawyerr is a Member of the Council of State and Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. With a doctorate degree in jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley, and other degrees from the Universities of Durham and London, he has taught at the Universities of East Africa, Ghana and Papua New Guinea, and held visiting and research appointments at several institutions, including The Open University (UK), Harvard and Yale Law Schools, and the Max-Planck-Institut, Hamburg. He is a Barrister at Law, Lincoln's Inn, England, and the Supreme Courts of Ghana and Papua New Guinea, as well as an Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. A former Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Akilagpa Sawyerr has been deeply involved over the past two decades in the study and promotion of higher education and development in Africa. His research interests cover the legal aspects of international trade and investment, international negotiations, human development and higher education, areas in which he has written and consulted widely at the national and international levels. He currently serves on the governing bodies of many national and international agencies, including the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme, Institute for Democratic Governance, The TISO Foundation, Commonwealth of Learning, United Nations University, and Third World Network - Africa Region.

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Silke Schicktanz


Silke Schicktanz is full professor for Culture and Ethics of Biomedicine at the Department for Medical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany. After studies in biology and philosophy at the University of Tübingen, Germany (1991-98), she obtained a PhD in Ethics of Life Science from the same university (2002). She held postdoctoral positions in the field of bioethics at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch/Forschungszentrum Jülich (2002-2003) and at the Department for Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine at the University of Münster (2004-2005). Being interested in public dialogue and engagement, she was project leader of the first nation-wide citizen conference on genetic testing that took place at Deutsches Hygiene-Museum in Dresden (2001-2002). She was visiting scholar at Ben-Gurion University, Israel, JNU Delhi, India, at CESAGEN Lancaster/UK and recently as Humboldt fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. More recently, she was a member of the Advanced Grant Evaluation Panel of the European Research Council (ERC; 2009-2012). Silke Schicktanz has extensive experience in conducting international and interdisciplinary research projects funded by the EU (“Challenges of Biomedicine”, 2005-2007), German-Israeli Foundation (2009-2012), Volkswagen-Stiftung (2010-2013), DFG (2011-2014) and the BMBF (2011-2014). She heads a working group that publishes internationally on issues such as ageing and dying, body and identity, organ transplantation, genetics, democratising science and empirically informed ethics. Her current research foci are ethics of science and biomedicine, cultural differences in bioethics, concepts of responsibility, autonomy, and trust, and the interrelations of ethics and empirical research.

Irene Villaseñor


Irene M. Villaseñor is a Professor of the Institute of Chemistry, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and is currently Scientist 1 under the Scientific Productivity System of the UP. She obtained her PhD in Chemistry from UP Diliman. Her research focuses on the isolation and structure elucidation of biologically active compounds from Philippine medicinal plants using a bioassay-directed approach. She looks into the preventive as well as therapeutic activities of natural products. New isolated bioactive compounds are important as hits in the Drug Discovery and Development Program (D3P) of UP. They are also used in the chemical standardization of commercially available herbal products. Her researches gave her several national and university awards. Cognisant of the importance of ethical research in preclinical studies of medicinal plants, Irene Villaseñor recently graduated with an M.S. in Bioethics, a joint degree programme of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman and the College of Medicine, UP Manila. She was a former Director of the Institute of Chemistry and is currently the Chair of the Division of Chemical Sciences, National Research Council of the Philippines. She is also an active officer and member of several professional organisations. She is also actively involved in quality education, specifically in the internal academic assessment of UP under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA).

Menahem Yaari


Menahem Yaari is Schonbrunn Professor (emeritus) of Mathematical Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 2004 to 2010, he served as the President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, of which he has been a member since 1991. Born in Jerusalem, with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned his PhD in economics and statistics from Stanford University, California. His professional career started at Yale University, where he served as an Assistant and Associate Professor and was a member of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics. He later became a Professor of Mathematical Economics at the Hebrew University. Menahem Yaari’s research concentrated mainly on the economics of uncertainty, consumer theory and economic justice. He is a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society (since 1969) and a Foreign Honorary Member of American Economic Association. He served as the President of The Open University of Israel (1992-97) and is a founding member of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO). In 2000/01, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1987 and the Rothschild Prize in 1994.

Jiansheng Zhang

China: CASTJiansheng_Zhang.jpg

Jiansheng Zhang – BA from Hangzhou University, Zhejiang, China; MS from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, MA, United States; PhD in Economics from Nankai University, Tianjin, China – has been involved in management of international cooperation for years. His responsibility of promoting international academic exchange and cooperation bring him with broad international background, and expertise in cross-culture relationship, operation of non-governmental organisations in China and academic exchanges with international scientific organisations. Ethics and freedom in conduct of science are important issues for the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST). As Director General of International Affairs of CAST, Jiansheng Zhang was deeply involved in relevant activities organised by CAST and its affiliated societies with overseas partners, like the series workshop on Scientists' Social and Ethical Responsibilities, organized with other organisations such as AAAS in the United States. CAST is composed of 192 national learned societies in China, covering all disciplines. Jiansheng Zhang is in charge of coordinating international cooperation for all Chinese societies. His participation in ICSU CFRS could bring not only his own expertise, but also the opinion and thought representing the entire Chinese science community.

Ex officio

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by Roger Pfister

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