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Category: Organizations > Human Health > Genetically Modified Foods

Institute Of Science In Society

The ISIS mission is to promote science responsible to civil society and the public good, independent of commercial and other special interests, or of government control.
Ratings/Review of this resource:

P.O. Box 32097
London , NW1 OXR
United Kingdom
Contact Person: Director is Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Phone: 44-20-7383-3376
Fax: None
E-Mail: m.w.ho@i-sis.org.uk
Website: http://www.i-sis.org.uk

Detailed Information:
The Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 by Mae-Wan Ho and Peter Saunders to work for social responsibility and sustainable approaches in science. A major part of our work is to promote critical public understanding of science and to engage both scientists and the public in open debate and discussion. ISIS has been providing inputs into the GM debate that would have been conspicuously lacking otherwise.

ISIS’ involvement in the debate on genetic engineering, euphemistically referred to as ‘genetic modification’, or GM, by its proponents, dates from 1994, when Mae-Wan Ho became scientific adviser to the Third World Network (see below). ISIS’ goal since the beginning, is to enable the widest cross-section of the global society to participate in deciding on science policies, which are among the most important in our time. Science and technology must be critically assessed by society and be held accountable, not only for safety, but also with regard to social and ethical implications. Such assessment is of necessity holistic. To be most effective, it should also be proactive as far as possible, particularly as technologies are becoming increasingly powerful and uncontrollable. That is why most governments have accepted the precautionary approach to risk assessment, now enshrined in the Cartegena Biosafety Protocol, negotiated in Montreal in Jan. 2000, regulating the use and cross-boundary transfer of GM organisms and products. To act with precaution requires monitoring and anticipating scientific developments, so that technical information may be freely available in an accessible form at the earliest stage, to be assessed in the proper social and global context.

ISIS works in close collaboration with and provide scientific advise to the Third World Network (TWN), a well-known and respected non-government organization based in Penang, which has been in the forefront of the struggle for equity and justice for the Third World. We advise and represent them on science and related issues in international forums such as the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme and the World Trade Organization (WTO). We have written numerous scientific reports and assessments for policy-makers and the general public which are used also by other public interest organizations all over the world to support their local and national campaigns and debates (see Publications at the end of this Report).

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