Principles of Ethical and
The ethical and regulatory challenges in science and research policy have been gaining momentum alongside the quickening pace of discovery and increasing social concerns about the use and abuse of science. Reflecting these concerns, a proliferation of European and international regulatory and advisory bodies and associated guides and protocols now address ethical issues. Significant among these is the European Charter for Researchers, which sets out the basic principles of ethical and professional conduct. These include principles of research freedom, integrity, accountability, social responsibility, public engagement, and the dissemination and exploitation of results, as well as compliance with discipline-specific protocols and principles of intellectual property and joint data ownership. The University of Crete endorsed the Charter and associated Code for researchers in 2009 and is also taking practical steps to ensure that these ethical and professional principles are observed. In 2012 the University of Crete established a Research Ethics Committee (REC). UoC was something of a pioneer at that time in having an institutional REC. This was made a standard requirement for all Greek public HEIs in 2018 [Law 4521/2018 ss21-27] and the UoC REC was re-constituted accordingly. The remit of the REC includes the development of university policy, the codification of regulatory requirements, and overseeing procedures for the consideration and approval of research projects involving human participants or personal data.
In 2020 a standing University Ethics Committee was established (Senate 445ης/19-11-2020) and replaced previous arrangements whereby the Ethics Committee was convened on request. The Committee, composed of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and the Faculty Deans, drafted the new University Code of Ethics and Good Conduct [in Greek] which was endorsed by the University Senate (464η /15-07-2021). The remit of the Ethics Committee is to oversee compliance with the principles of the code by all members of the UoC community, together with the investigation of breaches ex-officio or in response to written complaints.
The National Commission for Bioethics and Technoethics was established on April 2021 and takes over the work of its predecessor, the National Bioethics Commission. Its remit covers the ethical, social and legal dimensions of developments in the bio-medical sciences, advances in bio-technology and genetics, and a broad range of ethical issues revolving around new technologies such as artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and robotics. University of Crete is one of the few HEIs in Europe to have developed an inter-disciplinary Master programme in Bioethics. Reflecting this expertize, the thirteen (13)-member National Commission currently includes two UoC faculty members among the scientists of high repute from sections /fields related to its terms of reference and competence .