Seminar “Raising Awareness and Responsibility of Scientists in the Life Sciences”,
On November 18-20, 2021, a training seminar "Raising the awareness and responsibility of scientists in the field of life sciences" was held at the SAROB, the Khoja Obi Garm recreation area of the Varzob region of the Republic of Tajikistan. The event was organized by the Tajikistan National Academy of Sciences, Bioethics Council, the public organization "TABioS" in the framework of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) Targeted Initiative CBRN Export Control on Dual-Use Materials and Intangible Technologies in Central Asia, with financial support from the EU.
The seminar was opened by the vice-president of TNAS, corresponding Academy member, Prof Dr. Abdusattor Saidov., the ISTC SPM Dr Kamen Velichkov and the Project manager Prof. Firuza Nasyrova.
This second workshop is being conducted as part of a project to raise awareness about the potential for misuse in the life sciences and the responsibility of scientists to deal with dual-use materials, knowledge and technologies. The goal of the project is to introduce elements of dual-use science into formal education in the natural sciences and engineering in Tajikistan.
The participants to the workshop were:
- teachers at the Tajik National University, Technological University of Tajikistan, Dangara State University, State educational institution "Khujand State University named after academician B. Gafurov"; and
- experts and specialists in the field of life sciences, representing the scientific research institutes of TNAS.
As a result of the seminar, a round table was organized, during which a number of decisions were taken and a resolution was adopted.
The resolution adopted noted the successful holding of the seminar, which meets the modern level of knowledge in the field of life sciences. It was decided to create a working group from among the above universities for the development and release of an educational program (textbook, educational and methodological complex, short courses of lectures, syllabus, educational and methodological and scientific recommendations) on bioethics and biosafety in three languages - Tajik, Russian and English with by calculation - 1 credit (24 hours) for further implementation in the educational processes of the country's universities.
Furthermore, it was agreed to prepare an appeal to several Ministries in the Republic of Tajikistan: the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population, and the Ministry of Agriculture. This call looks for improving the state policy in the field of education and training (regulatory support, standardization, certification, licensing, advanced training) in dual-use sciences, bioethics and biosafety in the light of decisions made by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Also, it is proposed to ask the above-mentioned departments to find an opportunity to include the discipline "Bioethics and Biosafety" in the educational programs of universities at three levels of education, depending on the specifics of the specialties (bachelor's, master's and PhD programs in specialties).
Moreover, the proposal of creation an international exchange of experience in the field of life sciences in order to improve the qualifications of the Tajik specialists with the assistance of financial institutions.
Finally, the possibility of organizing and holding a final Roundtable on the results of the implementation of the course on bioethics and biosafety within the framework of the current project was put into consideration.
The participants and project manager would like to express gratitude to ISTC for help in organizing and facilitating the workshop.
The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.
ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.