The President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, appointed 14 of the 26 members to the Ethics Council for the first time; the other 12 members had already belonged to the Council in the previous term.
In his welcome address in the morning, Bundestag President Lammert expressed his appreciation for the work carried out by the Ethics Council and highlighted the Council's meticulous attention to the complex issues that arise in the life sciences.
Council members used the meeting to hold a first discussion on the future work programme. This discussion will be continued at the next meeting in May.
The German Ethics Council was established in April 2008 on the basis of the Ethikratgesetz (Ethics Council Act) of July 2007. The Council shall pursue the ethical, social, medical and legal questions and the anticipated 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. Members specifically represent scientific, medical, theological, philosophical, ethical, social, economic and legal concerns. They are to reflect the diversity of public opinion. Members include scientists from the mentioned fields of science; furthermore, the Council is comprised of persons who are particularly familiar with ethical questions of the life sciences.