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10th CFRS Meeting (May 2011)

Report and decisions from the 10th meeting of CFRS. The meeting was held in Berne, Switzerland, in conjunction with the International Workshop "Access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation" organised by and held at Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

At the CFRS meeting, members broached a wide range of issues related to the committee’s mission. In upholding ICSU’s Universality of Science Principle, it examined updates on 7 past and considered action on 2 new cases, where the rights of individual scientists were infringed upon. In addition, CFRS members considered possible action related to generic cases where scientific autonomy and academic freedom were under threat.

The committee also elaborated advisory notes on several issues pertinent to the freedom and responsibility of the international scientific community. Recommendations were adopted on, notably, the sharing of scientific data with developing countries, access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation, and on bias in science publishing.

Furthermore, the committee’s engagement and interest in several workshops and conferences relevant to CFRS’ work was discussed, namely on private sector – academia interactions, a 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity, science in contemporary wars, science and policy advice as well as science and anti-science.

CFRS members also took note that a Mater’s student at the ETH Zurich has begun to write a history on CFRS and its predecessor organisations.

Finally, ICSU and SCNAT formally concluded a Memorandum of Understanding, ratifying that the Swiss Academy of Sciences will host the CFRS Secretariat for a period of five years.

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