The media has been enthusiastic in covering life science stories, especially as life sciences are expected to bring major breakthroughs in the 21 st  century. A striking contrast to this enthusiasm is the media ignorance of the ethical principles central to research in the field of life sciences, evidenced by a rough survey on several portal and news websites in China. Up until late 2000 discussions about bioethics were by and large confined to academic circles. Alongside this inadequate media coverage of bioethics are violations of ethical principles or even human rights in the field of research.

Exploration in life sciences is no longer pursued purely for lofty scientific goals, but can also be profit-driven. As research involves human bodies and organs, it can no longer be exclusively academic. The media must be concerned with ethics in research and focus on reminding researchers of bioethics to keep their research decent and on the right track. The media must also alert the public to their rights and keep them informed.

The media must expand knowledge of bioethics among the general public and raise public awareness of bioethics to push research in the right direction.

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879-bioethics and media responsibility

Lei Xiong   China Features, Xinhua News Agency, China

The media has been enthusiastic in covering life science stories, especially as life sciences are expected to bring major breakthroughs in the 21 st  century. A striking contrast to this enthusiasm is the media ignorance of the ethical principles central to research in the field of life sciences, evidenced by a rough survey on several portal and news websites in China. Up until late 2000 discussions about bioethics were by and large confined to academic circles. Alongside this inadequate media coverage of bioethics are violations of ethical principles or even human rights in the field of research.

Exploration in life sciences is no longer pursued purely for lofty scientific goals, but can also be profit-driven. As research involves human bodies and organs, it can no longer be exclusively academic. The media must be concerned with ethics in research and focus on reminding researchers of bioethics to keep their research decent and on the right track. The media must also alert the public to their rights and keep them informed.

The media must expand knowledge of bioethics among the general public and raise public awareness of bioethics to push research in the right direction.

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