New Bio-society Web site to raise the profile of European socio-economic research

Brussels 09 June 2000The European Commission's Life sciences Directorate has set up a new Web site focusing on socio-economic research in the life sciences which was launched in June. It hopes the Web site will serve as a platform for the collection and dissemination of information in this field, stimulating thinking on the emerging "Bio-society".


"The development of innovative technologies and their uses raises a number of important questions regarding impact on people, society, environment and economics", stated a European Commission official. The European Commission already funds efforts to study these impacts, and is particularly interested in their socio-economic dimension and the public attitudes to new technologies.

The Web site gives details on the following topics:

  • The Quality of Life Programme's aims and activities.
    This includes information on the socio-economic dimension in the Quality of Life programme and advice to applicants
  • The Datastore.
    Information, tools and facilities to improve network exchanges between researchers, provide on-line knowledge and be a reference point for all stakeholders, including the public by providing exact and practical information on technology impact.

This datastore is divided into five sections:

  1. An expert database containing a growing list of experts on bio-society issues;
  2. A catalogue of studies containing a list of all research programmes in the life sciences which deal with relevant issues on the socio-economic impact of new technologies;
  3. A legislation section with the most relevant European Union directives;
  4. The BIO-glossary, detailing about 800 technical-scientific terms on the topics with definitions and references;
  5. Documentation including relevant documents, reports and papers.

A "Bioforum" has also been set up to offer users the possibility of communicating directly among themselves. Links to other European Union related initiatives and Commission sites relevant to socio-economic issues in the life sciences are also provided at the new Bio-society Web site.

Leslie Versweyveld

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