On ethical, legal, and social issues of emerging life sciences, it is important to comply with codes of conduct fitted in the recent socio-technical context reflecting Japanese experiences, develop procedures for the research and innovation governance, and promote public engagement for opening up future possibilities. It is also necessary in the governance to provide new brokers and processes by which ambiguous and uncertain evidence can serve for informed policymaking.
Japanese bioethical principles
Respect relational diversity Be aware and respectful of the notion that individuals are formed in continuous and diverse relations to their families, friends, communities, various experts and stakeholders, others species, architects, ecosystems, and the past and future generations.
Care for others Take individual and respectful decisions by weighing one’s own benefits against those of others, whilst taking care of others such as the marginalised contemporary and future generations.
Accept vulnerability of life, relation, and recognition Accept all supposed lives; the relation between self and others; and the recognition of self, others, life, and future as uncertain, ambiguous, unstable, and limited; and examine their adaptive management while anticipating the future.
Assure publicness of the process Establish institutions in which wider public, who remain at arm’s length from any stake and expertise, can continuously monitor and advise the process of societal decision-making and policymaking on bioethics.
Stimulate spontaneous engagement
Construct instruments by which the general public, including the less engaged, can spontaneously increase interest in, understanding of, and engagement with the ethical, legal, and social issues in emerging life sciences and future societies.
Encourage the substantive use of arts and design
Utilise arts and design as a medium to tap into future possibilities and facilitate continued dialogue and discussion among the wider public, stakeholders, and experts, and not simply for intense debate and public outreach.
Raise awareness of place and mobility Pay attention to the design of local places and living spaces where people can interact and engage in discussions, and enable the mobility of their cognitions and behaviours.
Evidence for policy
Recognise ambiguity and uncertainty of evidence Recognise one’s equivocal attitude to emerging life sciences because of ambiguous views on responsibility, ethics, and future, and consider the forecasting of scientific development and its social impacts as uncertain.
Include marginalised narrators/narratives
Include narratives of marginalised minorities based on their tacit knowledge and experience, without placing disproportionate emphasis on standardising quantitative data or summarising mass opinions.
Develop interaction and co-creation processes
Develop individual and organisational learning, communication, and network processes to connect evidence to policy by facilitating interaction and co-creation with policymakers.
Go Yoshizawa and Jusaku Minari,
with advice from Nariyoshi Shinomiya and Satoshi Kodama
December 2019 ISLE project
Abstract. Biodesign technologies enable us to design a living system and observe how that system and its environment transform over time by analysing, editing, and (re)constituting biological materials. This project creates a new mobile, tangible, and approachable design product to speculate and explore uncertain futures as well as ambiguous ethical issues related to biodesign technologies. To involve multiple and mobile publics, we selected two art festivals held at Sado Island, Japan, and recorded the feelings, thoughts, and views of various audiences through visual thinking strategies (VTS). Our project mobilised both human participants and biomaterials, (social) media services, exhibition spaces, and the culture and environment of Sado Island. Considering the future governance of biodesign technologies allowed us to blur and transgress the boundaries between nature and artefact and between designers and the designed.
Go Yoshizawa & Nozomi Mizushima, Brussels, 27 February 2019
Management of Citizen Science Organisations Citizen science (CS) practitioners and supporters should facilitate fair and inclusive management of CS organisations, with special attention to gender and inter-generational issues.
Evidence-informed Approach CS practitioners and supporters should analyse, archive and publicly share their evidence-informed (explicit or tacit) knowledge of radioactive measurement, risk management and policy evaluation. Openness and transparency would enhance their legitimacy and effectiveness, and facilitate building partnerships with other actors.
Public Engagement CS practitioners and supporters should consider building social capital, modelling community leaders and narrating compelling stories in order for the public to sustainably and positively engage with CS.
Grounded Practice Policymakers and journalists should not only focus on the scientific and democratic aspects of CS but also illuminate its individual and communal aspects. For this they should support ways to make CS activities more visible, inclusive and sustainable in society.
Expert Engagement All the relevant actors should carefully consider and monitor professional scientists’ scientific achievements and social attitudes, and foster a critical attitude by reflecting on their background, affiliation and activity.
Multi-level Governance All the relevant actors should deliberate on how they can allocate their tasks and cooperate with each other at different levels (i.e. central government, local authority and community levels) of radioactive measurement governance, reflecting local knowledges and values.
International Collaboration All the relevant actors in Japan should demonstrate more accountability and responsibility to the international community by increasing opportunities to interact, cooperate and collaborate with actors outside Japan (e.g. international oversight bodies). They should emphasise in such interactions that Japan has a long and rich tradition of citizen science and nuclear issues, from which much can be learned.