The German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE) is a national documentation and information centre for the entire field of ethics in the biomedical sciences in Germany.

The DRZE is a Central Research Institute of the University of Bonn. Upon the discontinuation of the BMBF’s funding of the project “Ethics in the Life Sciences”, the DRZE applied to be part of the “Akademienprogramm”. The project was admitted into the research programme of the German Scientific Academies on 1 January 2004, as a research project of the Project of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

It has the task of:

  • to scientifically elaborate the normative foundations of qualified judgement formation and to make them available in various formats;
  • to prepare and make available information from a wide variety of fields on the current bioethical discussion in science, society and politics;
  • to promote scientific networking and thus advance the German, European and international discourse.
© Volker Lannert

Biodiversity in the Anthropocene –
Restore or Design?

16 October 2023 – Universitätsclub Bonn

In the context of the 13th "Ethik-Forum", renowned experts will shed light in a panel discussion on how an appropriate understanding of biodiversity conservation can be developed under the conditions of the Anthropocene. Should natural processes be managed for the purpose of restoration and preservation with as little human intervention as possible, or must a greater claim to design be derived in the age of the Anthropocene?

The event was recorded and will be successively published on our YouTube channel in December 2023.

In Focus

The short information In Focus enables interested non-specialists in particular to get a quick overview of the debate on a current bioethical topic.

© Pixabay

Genome editing in human medicine

© Pexels, Mali Maeder

Genetically Modified Foods

Expert Reports

The aim of the series "Ethics in the Life Sciences - Expert Reports of the DRZE" is to prepare ethical problem areas from the field of the life sciences in a scientifically sound manner for interdisciplinary and societal discourse by comprehensively presenting the respective state of research and discussion.

SB 26 - Cut
© Verlag Karl Alber

Climate Justice

Marius Bartmann / Aurélie Halsband / Andrea Schapper

SB 25 - Cut
© Verlag Karl Alber

Die Generierung von künstlichen Keimzellen
(The Generation of Artificial Gametes)

Eva Mall / Stefan Schlatt / Ulrich M. Gassner / Tade Matthias Spranger / Robert Ranisch / Vasilija Rolfes


Here you will find news on current topics, projects and events of the DRZE.

Journal Club
© Pixabay

Journal Club

The DRZE article series summarises current journal articles on selected discourses in the life sciences.

© Pixabay

 Bioethics Press Review

The DRZE's bioethics press review presents discourses on bioethical topics in the German and foreign press.

Akademientag 2023

DRZE at the Academy Day

In November 2023, the DRZE was represented at the Academies' Day of the science academies united in the Academies' Union in Berlin.

Fachkonferenz Humane Embryonen

Human embryos in medical research

Dirk Lanzerath was a rapporteur at the BMBF conference on the evaluation and regulation of embryo research.

KI in der Medizin
© Colourbox

AI in medicine: Ethical aspects

In his DRZE Journal Club article, Roman Wagner provides an overview of current research contributions on ethical aspects of the use of AI in medicine.

Third-party funded projects

© Christine Siefer


The DRZE is coordinating an EU-funded project on research ethics.

© Barbara M. Hasenau


The DRZE is coordinating a BMBF-funded project on climate ethics.



The DRZE is involved in a BMBF-funded project on the use of AI in medical diagnostics.

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