Bridging the Gap between Science and Politics

Third Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

April 4-5-6, 2014
Rome  Chamber of Deputies / Capitoline Hill

under the patronage of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Chamber of Deputies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the City of Rome


Friday, April 4th
Chamber of Deputies
Aula dei Gruppi Parlamentari

Opening Session
9.30am – 1pm

Chair: Roberto GIACHETTI, Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies

Institutional greetings:
Giorgio NAPOLITANO (message), President of the Italian Republic

Pietro GRASSO, President of the Senate of Italian Republic

Stefania GIANNINI, Minister of Education, Universities and Research

Charles SABINE, former war correspondent, NBC News, affected by Huntington’s disease

Emma BONINO, former Minister for Foreign Affairs (Italy)

Taïeb BACCOUCHE, former Minister of Education (Tunisia)

Presentation of the Global Index on Freedom of Research and Self-Determination, in partnership with Bryant University and Bentley University (USA)
Andrea BOGGIO, Assistant Professor of Legal studies, Bryant University

Thematic report:
Should We Have More Surveillance Than The USSR?
Richard STALLMAN, President, Free Software Foundation

Bridging the gap between science and politics.
Chair: Marco CAPPATO, World Congress Coordinator

Discussion with:
Krista VARANTOLA, Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity, Council of Finnish Academies

Roberto BERTOLLINI, Chief Scientist and World Health Organization Representative to the European Union

Maciej NALECZ, Director, Executive Secretary of the International Basic Sciences Programme, UNESCO

Luciano D’AMICO, Dean, University of Teramo (Italy)

Institutional greeting:
Benedetto DELLA VEDOVA, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Italy)


Afternoon Session
2.45pm – 7pm


Chair: Giulio COSSU, Professor of regenerative medicine, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, University of Manchester

Thematic reports:
Why the international drug conventions are the worst censorship of research since the Catholic Church banned the telescope
David NUTT, former advisor on drugs policy to the British Government

New styles of consumption of illegal drugs and new risks associated to it: multiple usage, health risks and the role of science in the assessment of laws
Carla ROSSI, European Parliament representative, Management Board, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

The Courts’ way: the constitutional and supranational protection of the fundamental right to freedom of research.

Discussion with:
The status of the embryo at the European Courts and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Filomena GALLO, Secretary, Luca Coscioni Association

María Eugenia VENEGAS, Member of the Legislative Assembly (Costa Rica)

Ana Virginia CALZADA, former President, Constitutional Room of the Supreme Court of Justice (Costa Rica)

Institutional greeting:
Emilia DE BIASI, Chair, Committee on Health, Senate of the Republic (Italy)

Thematic report:
Fundamentalist Threats to Biomedical Research? – The Stem Cell Controversy
Oliver BRÜSTLE, Professor of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn Medical Center

Clara SATTLER DE SOUSA E BRITO, Patent Attorney, Visiting Professor, Catholic University Lisbon (Portugal)

Human embryos for health and research
(session promoted by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, together with patients’ Associations)
Chair: Joep GERAEDTS, Professor of Genetics and Cell Biology, Maastricht University (Netherlands)

Discussion with:
Luca GIANAROLI (Italy): “Reproductive health and its risks

Siladitya BHATTACHARYA (United Kingdom): “The value of assisted reproduction

Alan HANDYSIDE (United Kingdom): “Why are human embryos needed for research?

Karen SERMON (Belgium): “Human embryonic stem cells and regenerative medicine

Heidi MERTES (Belgium): “The donation of human embryos for stem cell research


Saturday, April 5th
Capitoline Hill
Sala della Protomoteca

Morning session
9.15am – 1.30pm


Institutional greeting:
Ignazio MARINO, Mayor of Rome

“Contested evidence, perceptions of risk and decisionmaking”
Chair: Elena CATTANEO, scientist, Senator for Life (Italy)

Scientific freedom and responsibility in the biosecurity context
Catherine RHODES, Research Fellow di etica scientifica, University of Manchester

Freedom of science, critical thinking and cognitive capital: the future of liberal democratic values
Gilberto CORBELLINI, Professor of history of medicine, Sapienza University of Rome

Empirical analysis and precaution: a feasible match
Claudio RADAELLI, Professor of Political Science, University of Bordeaux and Exeter

Thematic reports on the relationship between science and politics

Reforms of the Academy of Sciences and Universities in Russia: political and scientific challenges
Askold IVANTCHIK, Senior research fellow, French National Centre for Scientific Research (Bordeaux) / Senior research fellow, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow)

GM-crops: How to construct successfully bridges between Science and Politics – a difficult task
Klaus AMMANN, Professor emeritus, University of Bern (Switzerland)

The development and lack of application of GE animals in agriculture in North America
Jim MURRAY, Professor of Animal Science and VM:Population Health And Reproduction, University of California, Davis

The influence of some relativist ideas on antiscientific behaviours

Proposals on how to fill the gap between science and politics
Chair: Gilberto CORBELLINI, Professor of history of medicine, Sapienza University of Rome

Among those participating:

Behaviorally evidence-informed policy
Olivier OULLIER, Professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences, Aix-Marseille University

Armando MASSARENTI, journalist, Sole24Ore: Presentation of the proposal for a “Science Senate” in Italy


Afternoon Session
2.45pm – 7pm


Chair: Filomena GALLO, Secretary, Luca Coscioni Association

Freedom and regulation: the impact on health.

Discussion with:

Beatrice LORENZIN, Minister of Health (Italy)

Let Freedom Ring for Science: an American perspective
Mary WOOLLEY, president and CEO, Research!America

Past, Present and Future: The Impact of the Patient Advocacy Movement on Regenerative Medicine
Bernard SIEGEL, Executive Director, Genetics Policy Institute (USA)

The Ethics of Science and the Art of Politics: Bridging Gaps, and Protecting Science
John COGGON, Reader in Law, University of Southampton

A radical reform of policies governing research and scientific education
Andrea BALLABENI, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Natural and Applied sciences, Bentley University

Presentation of the study on international regulation of patents

Are patent claims really the evil for scientific research and patients’ interests?
Amedeo SANTOSUOSSO, President, European Centre for Law, Science and New Technologies
and Carlo COLOMBO, University of Pavia

Clinical trials: medicine’s promises and patients’ expectations: an explosive mix

Coordinator: Alison ABBOTT, Senior European Correspondent, Munich, Nature
Stamina is not the only problem: misusing bonemarrow stem cells in heart disease”

Discussion with:
Guido RASI, Director, European Medicines Agency

Luca PANI, DirectorGeneral, Italian Medicines Agency

Michele DE LUCA, Co-President, Luca Coscioni Association

Giuseppe TESTA, Head, laboratory of Stem Cell Epigenetics, European Institute of Oncology


7pm – 8pm


Showing of the videos “An eye for an eye” and “Blindly”, by Artur ZMIJEWSKI (Poland)


Sunday, April 6th
Capitoline Hill
Sala della Protomoteca

9.15am – 1.30pm

Marco PERDUCA, UN representative, Nonviolent Radical Party
Piergiorgio STRATA, National Institute of Neuroscience (Italy)

The communication of science
Marina MENGARELLI, sociologist, Luca Coscioni Association

Thematic reports:

The risk of a Vesuvius eruption: the certainty of it
Giuseppe MASTROLORENZO, First Researcher, Vesuvius Observatory, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Italy)

Solid science for hard decisions: The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Thomas STOCKER, CoChair Working Group I, IPCC

Neurosciences and Law
Dennis PATTERSON, Professor of Legal Theory and Legal Philosophy, European University Institute

Science, religion, laïcité/secularism and nonviolence

Is there a science of morality?
John HARRIS, Director, Institute for science, Ethics and Innovation, University of Manchester

Nonviolence as a tool for the promotion of Human Rights
Ramin JAHANBEGLOO, philosopher and academic, Professor of political science, York University (Canada)

Marco PANNELLA, Leader, Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty

Betty WILLIAMS, 1976 Nobel Peace Prize laureate

Taïeb BACCOUCHE, former Minister of Education (Tunisia)

Closing debate: The road ahead
Chair: Marisa JACONI, Department of Pathology, University of Geneva


The World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research is sponsored by the Luca Coscioni Association and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty.