Established in 2003 by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 166th session, the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science is awarded every two years to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in the field of ethics in science. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of ethics in science, to develop a reflection on the issue and to bring it to the attention of scientists and the general public.
Named after the 11th-century Persian physician and philosopher Avicenna (980-1038) the Prize highlights the importance of ethics in science, helps to develop reflections and raise awareness among scientists and the general public.
To be successful, candidates would need to have provided high-quality reflection, research or policy advice on ethical issues raised by recent scientific and technological advances, developed educational and training practices or fostered science communication, public awareness and debate on the ethics of science and technology.
Winners are invited to take a one-week academic visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, providing speeches and lectures to relevant academic gatherings.
Previous winners include Professor Donald A Brown, Scholar in Residence for Sustainability Ethics and Law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School. A world-renowned expert in environmental science, Professor Brown was honoured for paving the way in bringing ethical principles into international climate change conversations and his work demonstrating that climate change is the ethical imperative of our time.