Dr. Abir Shaqran Mahmood,
MBBS, MPH, BCS (Health),Dhaka, Bangladesh:
The Global Bioethics Summer School, 2019 organized by Global Bioethics Initiative in collaboration with MORU (Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit) held in Bangkok, Thailand was an astounding experience of facts, fun and friendship for me. It got me familiar to a field of Bioethics which was alien to me before. I had the opportunity to learn about a series of interesting topics and lectures from some great minds of our era. As a physician, I always felt the need to improve the ethical practices in this field. The lectures about ethical practices of taking informed consent, ethical solution to Human Genome Modification, the adoption policy, research ethics, the use of social media to amplify the good side of research, issues in recruitment in clinical trials- got me thinking about the modern side of science that got me fascinated. I got to learn the up-to-date scientific discoveries of this decade. I met some new faces from different cultures and corners of the world, made some friends and we became a family. They welcomed me with their warm amiable attitude. We shared our cultures and views, engaged in various interesting discussions and film screenings, tried different exotic foods, took part in river cruise in Chao Phraya and field trips to Wat Arun Temple and MORU. Moreover, we had fun. I came here from Bangladesh with a dream of learning something and being a part of something new and challenging. Now I am leaving here with a bag full of experiences, memories and a universal family. Thank you GBI! I do feel fortunate to be a part of it which will remain ever-fresh in my memory. After all, I can say like Bryan Adams said in his song ‘Summer of 69’,
“Summer of 2019,
Those were the best days of my life!”
The past week I had an opportunity to participate in the International Bioethics Summer School in Bangkok, Thailand, organized by Global Bioethics Initiative and MORU Tropical Health Network at Oxford University. Lectures and seminars covered the most actual for bioethicists topics, such as basic concepts of ethics, research ethics, community engagement and informed consent, ethical issues in genetic modification, egg donation, Big Data and social media, access to hepatitis B medication and global elimination of malaria. Among all these fascinating topics, I particularly enjoyed the talk about universal health coverage by Prof. Calvin Ho, that discussed the accountability for reasonableness approach and Rawlsian theory of justice. During these 5 days we’ve had not only explored important bioethical issues, we were challenged with a number of problematic ethical cases, and we did a lot of intensive group work. At this summer school I’ve met exceptional people from the whole world and got valuable contacts. A carefully prepared educational program was spiced up with sociocultural activities and field trips, such as visiting Wat Arun Temple, the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit and Dinner cruise. I was really enjoying this outstanding event and I’m looking forward to contributing to other conferences and schools organized by the Global Bioethics Initiative and MORU in future.
The 2019 International Bioethics Summer School in Bangkok is an inspiring experience in many ways. The lecturers are worldwide acclaimed scientific, the organization is remarkable, and last but not least: Thai food. Relevant and ethically movies (and moving) session, as well as breathtaking field trips, are part of the “menu” of this program. The diversity of the lecturer’s topics as well as the diversity of background of the participant attempting the conference give justice to Bioethics, a field by essence multidisciplinary as we often tempted to forget. In fact, we had the chance to attempt classes ranging from Research Ethics to Digital Ethics.I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in Bioethics, and following the dinner cruise on the Chao Praya River, to anyone in general.
Camilla Östergren, Lawyer and Legal project manager, Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethic, Dept of Public Health and Caring services, Uppsala University and Biobank Sweden, Sweden:
I am a lawyer and I have been working in bioethics for almost a year now. Bangkok Summer School has been very educational for me. As a lawyer, I have focused on law, but summer school has given me a deeper understanding of ethics. The lecturers have been professional and I am deeply impressed by their broad knowledge in their fields. What has been very good is that they have also been able to explain to me, who do not yet have the deep understanding of bioethics, in a way that I understand. In addition to a fantastic program, we are a wonderful group of people from all over the world. This is something that enriches our discussions as laws and approaches is different for us. I’m really glad I signed up for Summer School in Bioethics. It has been a fantastic experience that I can highly recommend!
Zeki Topcu Ph.D
Professor of Molecular Biology, Ege University, Erzene Mahallesi, 35100 Bornova/İzmir, Turkey:
Global Bioethics Initiative’s Summer School Program at Bangkok was a great opportunity to learn from the experts in the field. Incredible speakers covered topics ranging from “research ethics” to “genome editing” ,“informed consent” and many others. The diverse background of participants enriched the discussions. Moreover, the program was not limited with the lectures, but GBI also covered field trips and film screenings. Highly recommended. Thanks a million to everyone that contributed to the organization of the program.
Minn L Dee, MD:
I am thankful to have had the chance to attend the Summer School in Bangkok organized by the Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI), in collaboration with the Department of Bioethics & Engagement, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), University of Oxford.
In my opinion, one of the strengths of this programme was the engaging and thought-provoking series of talks by the distinguished speakers. These sessions were not didactic lectures but rather were designed in such a way as to promote critical thinking and discussion in relation to ethical theories and problems.
In addition to that, I also very much appreciated the chance to hear from my fellow participants. With such a diverse group of participants, discussions on views and perspectives across various ethical issues illustrated were very lively and open. Being new to bioethics and not very bold in speaking out during the first few days, I also particularly appreciated that everyone was so encouraging and supportive throughout the course. It goes without saying that I also had a good time at the other activities, such as the film screenings and the field trips.
I was invited by a friend and colleague who have known my interest in ethics around African elderly perceived to be a vulnerable population. I have also published a paper (copied).
The caliber of presenters was quite impressive. Crucial aspects of bioethics were covered. The very first presenter Jan Piasecki gave us a philosophical introduction of looking and differentiating research versus practice and this grounded the entire workshop. Calvin Ho so eloquently discussed issues around more holistic approach to realizing universal health coverage. The diversity of topics discussed made this workshop more interesting having an archeologist attest to this. Having to hear issues of community engagement took me back to my own setting as this is the most important thing to do to access research participants. Two social gatherings namely the trip to the temple and dinner on the cruse was a cherry on the cake. I felt like we are family around one big table. Thank you Ana Lita. I hope that there could be intercultural discussion around informed consent.
I feel more empowered on issues around data ethics, Phaik has presented a thought provoking topic. This workshop was worth my time, well prepared and organized. Congratulations to all who presented and thanks to Ana Lita
My Nguyen Le Thao:
As a social science researcher who do not have any medical/pharmaceutical background, Bioethics appears to me an interesting yet challenging topic. Therefore, I feel extremely thankful for being a part of the Bioethics Summer School organized by Global Bioethics Initiative and MORU this year as it has not only enabled me to obtain thorough understanding about the basic concepts of Ethics in Healthcare & (Bio)research practices but more importantly, the school has inspired and encouraged me to venture deeper and further into the field, which eventually allows me to build a more effective and sustainable ethical framework that I can apply and adapt into my own social science studies. The summer school only lasts for 7 days but has successfully managed to deliver an enormous amount of knowledge thanks to its exciting and engaging lectures. In which, participants are given opportunities to voice their own thoughts about various significant bioethics issues currently debated around the world that allows us to apply the ethics principles we have just learnt and develop such a critical mind that sharpen our decision-making skills in the situation of ethics and morality dilemmas we are possibly encountering everyday through our research practices.