The fast progress of all of science (not just the life sciences), the impact of scientific innovation on the environment and the changing role and responsibility of scientists are topics which are dealt with by UNESCO's programme on the ethics of science and technology.
UNESCO has established in 1998 the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). Its tasks are to advise UNESCO and international decision-makers in this field, to exchange ideas and experience, to detect new risks early as well as to promote dialogue between scientific communities, decision-makers and the public at large. In 2001, Germany hosted the second session of COMEST. The German physicist and politician Prof. Dr. Dagmar Schipanski was member of COMEST from 1998 until 2003.
The Commission puts emphasis on Ethics of the Environment, Ethics of scientists' codes of conduct, Ethics of new technologies and Ethics education.