Programme / Thematic session II./a Biotechnology for Social Justice: Discovery, Innovation and Impact‹ back to Programme lister
Wednesday / 7 DEC
17:00 - 18:30
Biotechnology is an invaluable means of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Humankind is confronted with unprecedented challenges: food security, security of energy supply, a growing burden of disease, and climate change, to name a few.
Modern biotechnology and scientific developments provide breakthrough products and methodologies to address those challenges: to combat non-communicable diseases and neurodegeneration, to stop the outbreak of infectious diseases, to reduce pollution, to relieve poverty, to feed the hungry, to use less and cleaner energy, to protect biological diversity, and to develop safer, cleaner and more efficient industrial manufacturing processes.
Key to the rapid advancements in modern biotechnology is that no one is left behind. This session will bring together experts and researchers from across the globe who are working in various capacities to ensure that the fruits of molecular biology and biotechnology are available to all. We will review different aspects of how this is being achieved through discovery, innovation and impact.
The panel will start with discussions around discovery and innovation - ensuring that all nations have local sustainable capacity to fully benefit from the new technologies, which requires education and investment in local production capabilities. With this, we will discuss the importance of global, regional, and local efforts, and initiatives made to ensure that products can reach the people who need them most and, most importantly, at prices that they can afford. Finally, the panel will discuss how this, in turn, leads to the basis of social justice - equal access and opportunities for all - across all countries, ethnic groups and incorporating gender equality throughout, thus having a greater impact on the lives of all global citizens, and indeed leaving no one behind.
- Lawrence Banks, Director-General, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB)
- Petro Terblanche, Afrigen Biologics, Afrigen Biologics
- Thomas Hartung, Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health - Science as a lifesaver in harms caused by drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
- Charles Gore, Executive Director, Medicines Patent Pool