Since 2004 the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE) has been research centre of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities for the elaboration of "Prerequisites, Norms and Criteria of Ethical Judgment Formation in the Life Sciences”. It is affiliated as central scientific institution to the University of Bonn.
Following a call for tender by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) the DRZE has been set up by the Institute of Science and Ethics (IWE), Bonn in collaboration with the University of Bonn as a national documentation and information centre in order to provide scientific foundations for a qualified bioethical discussion on a German, European and international level. During its setting up phase (1999-2003) the DRZE was funded by the BMBF.
The DRZE comprehensively provides scientific information which is required for a qualified formation of opinion and judgment in the area of ethics in the life sciences and medicine. The main focus lies in the scientific preparation of the information.
The DRZE is in charge of:
- collecting, presenting, and providing information of the different scientific areas that matter to the various current debates concerning bioethics in science, society, and politics;
- elaborating the scientific prerequisites for a qualified formation of opinion and providing the accessibility of those prerequisites in different formats.
- representing the German bioethical debate in an international and European context as well as introducing international and European issues to the German debate.