Zdeněk Dvořák has resigned his membership of the Bioethical Commission. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic thanked him for his contribution.

Zdeněk Dvořák, head of Department of Cell Biology and Genetics at the Faculty of Science and a member of a research group at the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, resigned his membership of the Bioethical Commission after eight years. The Prime Minister Andrej Babiš sent a thank-you letter to Prof. Dvořák for his work in the advisory body associated to the Research and Development Council.

The Bioethical Commission is an advisory board of the Research, Development and Innovation Council. It was established in connection with the Act on Research on Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Related Activities and on Amendments to Some Related Acts. Subsequently, the commission responded to other issues related to science and research.

“The focus has gradually shifted from researching human embryonic stem cells to other topics. We dealt with, e.g., the issues of potential use of biological material from IVF clinics, technologies for so-called brain-computer interfaces functioning as direct connections between the brain and a computer, and other problems that may derive from the development of cybernetics and robotics. The commission was a very stimulating environment that enabled me to interact with people from various research areas and see the bioethical questions tackled from the point of view of scientists, medical doctors, theologians, lawyers, economists etc.”, said Prof. Dvořák.

He worked in the Bioethical Commission from 2010 to 2018. Due to the fact that each member of the commission can be voted only for two consecutive four-year-terms, his membership was terminated. “Your valuable experience has contributed a great deal to the commission’s activity”, wrote the Prime Minister to Dvořák.

According to the current legislation, the Bioethical Commission deals with tasks the R&D Council has been assigned concerning the bioethical aspect of research and development; it also proposes an expert perspective on the calls for permitting research on human embryonic stem cells or calls for permitting import of human embryonic stem cells.