LIVE 'Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science' - a book by Cesare Romano, Andrea Boggio and Jessica Almqvist Read the book


In October 2018, a group of members of Rome-based Associazione Luca Coscioni launched Science for Democracy to promote the affirmation of the “right to science” through a dialogue between the scientific community and decision-makers. Anyone who shares its goals can join Science for Democracy – scientists and academics are particularly welcome.

  • Virginia Fiume

    European Initiatives Project Coordinator

    Coordinator of the European Initiatives promoted by Science for Democracy and of the pan-European citizens movement Eumans, Virginia Fiume coordinates European-level participatory democracy initiatives, combining advocacy, networking and citizens empowerment and community engagement activities. A degree at Universitá degli Studi di Milano in Critic and Theory of Contemporary Literature, and a MA in Anthropology of Media at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communication and tech startup in North America, the Middle East and different European Countries.

  • Octavian Lazea

    European Citizens Initiatives Campaign Coordinator

    Born Romanian but raised Italian, Octavian Lazea is a 24 years old European Citizens’ Initiative Campaigner at Eumans/Science for Democracy. After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Interpreting and Translation (EN, FR, CH), he is currently enrolled in a Master program in International Relations (Major Globalization and Public Policy) at ULB University in Brussels. Before becoming a transnational activist, Octavian has been coordinating community engagement at local level in Rome, to promote and raise awareness on civic participation.

  • Lorenzo Mineo

    Advocacy Officer and Campaign Coordinator

    SciencesPo graduated in Urban Studies, Lorenzo is Coordinator of the European Citizens’ Initiative StopGlobalWarming.Eu in Italy and France, and engaged in political campaigning for Eumans, the movement of European citizens for Democracy and Sustainable Development. He's in charge of initiative for democratic innovation in Italy and at EU level, in collaboration with the Citizens Take Over Europe alliance. He coordinates international activities on drug policies for Science For Democracy.

  • Marco Perduca


    Mr. Perduca was a senator in Italy from 2008 to 2013, serving on the Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Human Rights committees. For 20 years, he has coordinated the activities of the Nonviolent Radical Party at the United Nations (UN) in New York, as well as in Geneva and Vienna, and has organized high-level meetings to abolish the death penalty in Africa and Central Asia. He has also collaborated with British law firms and various American foundations on ending human rights violations in Italy. Mr. Perduca is an expert on UN mechanisms, with an emphasis on drug policy reform. His letters and opinions have appeared in the International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian. When he was in Parliament, he was often a guest on the BBC as a commentator on Italian politics. In 2014, he published Operazione Idigov, a chronicle of his activities at the United Nations in the year 2000; in 2018, he co-curated Proibisco Ergo Sum, a collection of essays on prohibitions in Italy, and prefaced La Cannabis Fa Bene alla Politica and Terapie Stupefacenti. He has a blog at and just published a memoir, Farnesina Radicale.

  • Simona Giordano

    Steering Committee Member

    Simona Giordano is Reader in Bioethics and Hub Lead of the Center for Social Ethics and Policy (CSEP), at the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester. She is the author of Understanding Eating Disorders, Oxford University Press, Exercise and Eating Disorders, Routledge, Children with Gender Identity Disorder, Routledge, and of the forthcoming Ethical issues in the clinical management of gender diverse children and adolescents. She is editor of Scientific Freedom, with John Coggon and John Harris, Bloomsbury and of Freedom of Scientific Research, Manchester University Press.

  • Giulia Perrone

    Research and Advocacy Officer

    Research and advocacy officer at Associazione Luca Coscioni and Science for Democracy and PhD fellow in International Law at the University of Turin. Her main interests include the intersections between life sciences and human rights law, with particular regard to biomedical development and human biology. Giulia holds a Law degree (LUISS University, Italy) and a LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (University of Essex, United Kingdom). The “WHO Bulletin” and “Biolaw Journal - Rivista di BioDiritto”, among others, contain some of her works.

  • Cesare P.R. Romano

    Steering Committee Member

    Cesare P.R. Romano is Professor of Law and W. Joseph Ford Fellow, at Loyola Law School Los Angeles. He holds a MA (Laurea) in Political Science, University of Milano (1992); D.E.S. (Diplôme des Études Superieures), Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva (1995); LL.M., New York University Law School (1997); and PhD (Doctorat), Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva (1999). His expertise is in public international law, and in particular international human rights and international courts and tribunals. Between 1996 and 2006, he created, developed and managed the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PiCT), a joint undertaking of the Center on International Cooperation, New York University, and the Centre for International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, becoming a world-renown authority in the field. ... In 2011, Professor Romano founded the International Human Rights Center at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Since then, he has led his students in the litigation of dozens of cases before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and specialized United Nations human rights bodies, including the first individual communication to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights dealing with restrictions on research in human embryos (SC and GP v. Italy, CESCR Comm. 22/2017). As a scholar, Professor Romano is the author of nine books and 62 articles and chapters in edited volumes. Amongst those most relevant for the activities of Science for Democracy, one should mention: Boggio A./ Romano C. /Almqvist J. (eds.), Human Germline Genome Modification and the Right to Science: A Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies, Cambridge University Press, 2020; Romano, C. / Boggio, A., “The Right to Benefit from Progress in Science and Technology”, in The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (MPECCoL), 2020 (forthcoming); Romano, C., “The Origins of the Right to Science: The American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man”, in Porsdam, H., and Porsdam Mann, S. (eds), The Right to Science: Then and Now (CUP 2021); Boggio, A. / Romano, C., “Freedom of Research and the Right to Science. From Theory to Advocacy” in Simona Giordano, Lucio Piccirillo, and John Harris (eds.), The Freedom of Scientific Research: Bridging the Gap between Science and Society, Manchester University Press, 2018, pp. 162-175; Boggio, A./ Knoppers, B. / Almqvist, J. / Romano, C., “The Human Right to Science and the Regulation of Human Germline Engineering”, The CRISPR Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2019, pp. 134-142. Personal website:

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  • Filomena Gallo

    Steering Committee

    Lawyer before the Italian Court of Cassation, she is an expert in legislative issues concerning human biotechnology. For 10 years she has taught at the University of Teramo. Since 2005, she has promoted and followed most of the legal proceedings that led Italy’s Constitutional Court to declare the unconstitutionality of the national Law on assisted reproductive techniques. She has collaborated with the Ministry of European Affairs and the Italian Drug Agency; a frequent commentator on bioethical issues in the national media, in 2012, she was elected secretary of the Luca Coscioni Association for freedom of scientific research.

  • Laura Convertino

    Steering Committee Member

    Laura is a PhD candidate in cognitive and theoretical neuroscience at UCL (University College London), awarded by the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Training Programme for the Ecological study of the Brain. She studied Medicine and Surgery at the University of Pavia, with a parallel diploma in Biological Sciences at IUSS Pavia, and became a qualified MD in 2018. Proud member of Collegio Ghislieri, she had the opportunity to extend her studies in basic research and clinical training in different international leading institutions. She is particularly interested in issues related to minorities’ access to the benefits of science and scientific knowledge, and in promoting freedom of research and the right to science beyond cultural biases.

    Andrea Boggio

    Steering Committee

    Andrea Boggio is a Professor of Legal Studies at Bryant University (USA). He has authored Compensating Asbestos Victims. Law and the Dark Side of Industrialization (Ashgate 2013) and Health and Development: Toward a Matrix Approach (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). He earned a doctoral degree from Stanford University and completed his post-doc training at the University of Geneva. He has consulted for governments (Canada, Italy), international organizations (OECD, WHO) and many nongovernmental entities. He is a member of the New York bar.

  • Federico Binda

    Steering Committee Member

    Federico Binda is a mathematician, working as a researcher at the University of Regensburg (Germany). Before that, he studied mathematics in Germany, Italy and France. Apart from his primary research, he spends his days writing and talking about Open Science. Since September 2017, he is a board member of the Luca Coscioni Association for the freedom of scientific research.

  • Claudia Basta

    Steering Committee

    Researcher at the Dutch national research institute for the living environment in The Hague, Claudia supports Science for Democracy in identifying and formulating political initiatives lying on the intersection of science, policy-making and society. Her background combines urban sustainability studies (MSc, University of Venice) with European risk governance (PhD, Delft University of Technology) and applied ethics studies (Post-Doc, 4TU Centre of Excellence in Ethics and Technology, Delft). Her main interests gravitate around the ethical theories and normative principles that inform the practices of human welfare and environmental sustainability assessment. Her relevant works are published in Planning Theory and Environmental Impact Assessment Review among other journals. Critical about the hypertrophic production of literature to which early-career scientists are forced to earn any academic positions, she is keen to promote a culture of quality and originality vs. quantity and conformism among PhD students. The ‘politics and policy’ of European research and of its evaluation is thus at the top of her professional interests together with the advancement of value-driven approaches to the assessment of the social impacts of science.

  • Claudio Radaelli

    Steering Committee Member

    Professor of Public Policy at University College London He holds a Degree in Economics and Social Sciences (Bocconi University) and a PhD in political science (Florence). In the years 2005-2018 he was Professor of Political Science at the University of Exeter and Director of the Centre for European Governance. Claudio has authored 85 peer review articles and authored-edited volumes and special issues on Europeanization, regulation, policy learning, international corporate tax policy, and governance. He co-edited the Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment (Elgar) and Learning in Public Policy: Analysis, Modes and Outcomes (Palgrave). Claudio was awarded two advanced grants by the European Research Council, one on policy learning (ALREG) and another, PROTEGO, on regulation In Science for Democracy Claudio works on science and nonviolence, the role of evidence and scientific knowledge in policy processes; on how scientists engage with policy formation; and on policy instruments such as regulatory impact assessment, ex-post legislative evaluation, consultation, and access to regulation and law.

  • Marco Cappato


    Marco Cappato, Coordinator of the “World Congress for freedom of scientific Research”, Treasurer of “Luca Coscioni Association”, founder of Eumans. Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009, and EP Rapporteur on: “privacy in electronic communication”; “human rights in the world for 2007”; “production of opium for medical purposes in Afghanistan”; “public access to EU documents”. Nominated for the “Politician of the year” award by “Wired” in 2003; winner of the “European of the Year” award organised by “the European voice”.