Providing guidance on bioethical questions:

The Bayer Bioethics Council


An independent, external Council advises Bayer on bioethical questions relating to emerging Life Science technologies.

Bayer´s Bioethics Council at the first in-person meeting in Berlin (June 2022)

Science and technology are advancing rapidly, and Bayer is proud to contribute to this development to achieve its mission “Health for all, Hunger for none”. The pace at which science is evolving, and the possibilities that these innovations create, raise challenging ethical questions. We have therefore established the Bayer Bioethics Council, an external advisory body consisting of independent experts. By bringing in a societal perspective, it helps Bayer identify relevant bioethical questions and provides advice on how to answer them. The Council’s purpose is to support Bayer in further developing bioethical guidelines for its decision making. 

The Bioethics Council provides ethical expertise and educational support to Bayer with regards to bioethics matters in the context of R&D-related innovation in life sciences, with a focus on medical topics, bioengineering and artificial intelligence, and which may concern the discovery, development, manufacturing, and use of human health directed treatments and therapies as well as agricultural products and practices for implementation.

The Bioethics Council 

  • advises Bayer on how to ensure bioethics is an integral part of the R&D contributions,
  • examines Bayer’s policies with respect to bioethics and provides input on strategic shifts, 
  • evaluates Bayer’s progress towards the implementation of its bioethics strategies and guidelines, 
  • consults on the main drivers behind contemporary bioethics topics (i.e. technological advancement and social change) relevant to Bayer’s work.

The Bioethics Council is an independent advisory body without executive power on the operational business. It supports Bayer across all of its divisions and meets twice a year in full.

I am very pleased that we have been able to attract a diverse group of world-leading ethics experts – from the fields of biotechnology, health care and artificial intelligence, among others – to join Bayer's Bioethics Council. Their expertise provides us with guidance on complex bioethical issues.
Dr. Michael Devoy
Chief Medical Officer of Bayer AG and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Pharmacovigilance of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG
Developing innovations in the life sciences, particularly in biotechnology, inevitably requires a thorough assessment of the ethical implications for people and the environment. Bayer wants to raise and uphold high bioethical standards throughout its operations – with the help of the Bioethics Council.
Dr. Axel Trautwein
SVP, Head of Regulatory Science at Bayer Crop Science
Innovations in the life sciences will fundamentally change our health and nutrition systems in the future. We are aware of our responsibility as a research company and therefore want to actively participate in the further development of bioethical standards in dialogue with society. Exchange with external experts is essential for this.
A woman in a white blazer stands in front of a building.
Dr. Monika Lessl
SVP, Head Corporate R&D and Social Innovation, Executive Director Bayer Foundation

Former members of the Bioethics Council

(December 2021 – October 2023)