Under the direction of Professor Norbert Lammert, the President of the German Bundestag, Professor Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig, University of Kiel, was elected chairperson. Dr Christiane Woopen, lecturer at the University of Cologne, and Professor Eberhard Schockenhoff, University of Freiburg, are the future deputy chairpersons.
The German Ethics Council continues the work of the National Ethics Council, which met for the last time on 11 September 2007.
By statute of 16 July 2007, it is the duty of the German Ethics Council to pursue the questions of ethics, society, science, medicine and law and the probable consequences for the individual and society that result in connection with research and development, in particular in the field of the life sciences and their application to humanity.
The German Ethics Council is composed of twenty-six members specializing in scientific, medical, theological, philosophical, ethical, social, economic and legal concerns. Its members include academics from the above disciplines, and in addition it includes persons of repute who are particularly familiar with ethical questions of the life sciences.
In its next meeting on 24 April 2008, the German Ethics Council will adopt its Rules of Procedure and consult on its future programme of work.