Dr. Pathom Sawanpanyalert, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology, revealed that Anti-Corruption Operation Centre under MOST in collaboration with the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS) hosted this seminar as a part of the first strategy of MOST's action plan for the promotion of morality. The objectives are to strengthen the moral foundation in MOST and STI community, by raising the ethical awareness for researchers, scientists, students and relevant stakeholders through turning the ethical principles of science and technology into action and adjusting in daily life, as well as to promote public engagement related to the ethics of scientific knowledge and technology. However, Thailand 4.0, transforming the Thai society to be an innovation-driven economy is the meaningful strategy for the good opportunity of Thailand. Therefore, it is necessary to not only develop the manpower and youth in all dimensions but also formulate the communication platform with the aim at providing the potential technology development along with creating the awareness and social responsibilities related to the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of science and technology. Significantly, all professionals and stakeholders involved in science technology and innovation should embed the code of conduct to all aspects of operation in the way that is appropriate and beneficial to the society and nation.
Prof. Yongyuth Yuthavong, member of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), said that even if science and technology are causing the social change very seriously however there are many public concerns over its impacts and applications of them. Thus, scientists have to make an attempt to work with others in the communities in order to identify the social and environmental consequences and provide the recommendations in management and protection to the plausible threats. In addition, the Thai ethical guidelines in science and technology have been integral and requisite for the country.
Dr. Kitipong Promwong, Secretary General of National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) reported that currently, the emergence of disruptive technologies in the era of the 4th industrial revolution such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data and advanced genomics leads to both the opportunities and threats simultaneously. However, Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) platform is able to recognize as the key to propel the utilization of science and technology. Realizing ELSI of science and technology, STI office has emphasized to formulate good governance in science, technology and innovation, encourage Ethical Legal Social Implications (ELSI) mechanism and platform among relevant stakeholders related to science, technology and innovation, promote public awareness and engagement related to ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of science and technology amongst the individuals, youths, decision-makers, academics, scientific communities, researchers, and the public and private sectors at all levels, support preparedness to respond to the rapid changes of technology dynamically, as well as cooperate with the global partnership. Therefore, STI office established the Thai National Committee on Ethics of Science and Technology and further executed to do in-depth study of the ethical projects on science and technology in 5 priority areas as the followings; 1) ELSI of Genes, Cells and Life sciences 2) ELSI of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data 3) ELSI of Climate Change 4) ELSI of Research Ethics 5) Public Communication, Consultation and Participation through Art and Media: Youth Engagement in Science, Technology and Innovation. Moreover, Thai National Committee on Ethics of Science and Technology would like to connect the above projects to “26th (Ordinary) Session of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO (IBC) 11th (Ordinary) Session of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST)” and “Conference of Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Science and Technology” in 2019 in Thailand which will be hosted by MOST, STI, NSTDA, TCELS and ministry of education.
Prof. Prasit Palittapolgarnpim, Executive Vice President of National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), as a project leader of “Genome Technology: Ethical and Legal Management” presented that the advancement of genome technology in Thailand is making the rapid progress. Its applications are enhancing the number of ethical issues such as privacy, abuse of genetic information. Likewise, there should also be aware of the gaps in the regulations of Thailand and the advertisement of genetic products and services.
Dr. Nares Damrongchai, CEO of Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS), as a project leader of “ELSI of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data” said that currently, artificial intelligence, big data and robotics in Thailand have evolved the progress increase tremendously and have a greater role in the daily life of everyone inevitably.
Prof. Soraj Hongladarom, Philosophy Department at Chulalongkorn University, as a project leader of “ELSI of Research Ethics” said that presently, researchers and faculty members have been forced to increase the publication dramatically. They may seek the shortcuts to publish their unethical works intentionally. This seminar aimed to analyze the academic and research ethics’s issues and proposed the ELSI guideline for protection and correction.