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Topic: Biobanking with Children

Biobanking with children may prove to be the ideal training ground for both Responsible Research Innovation (RRI) and scientific citizenship, fostering the cultural change towards participatory science, scientific citizenship, and reciprocal engagement. The challenge also offers a great opportunity to face complex processes regarding ethical, legal, and societal issues (ELSI) and innovative research practices, allowing us to learn together in a very sensitive field without the possibility of direct physical harm for the participant. In fact, it provides an understanding of the biomolecular turn of research and medicine, emphasizes the impact of genetic knowledge on the life of each child and on society in general, and expands the collaborative horizon at stake. 

In practice, it challenges us by asking for the recognition of the minor as a valid interlocutor and participant in all respects, revolutionizing a practice that from paternalistic is urged to become inclusive and to model itself in a dynamic and participatory way. It seems to be at stake an ELSI and research (biobanking) paradigm shift. This shift reshapes the regulatory framework in terms of recognition, inclusion, and ELSI maturation, above all that of adults. 

As children grow and mature, so must the attitude of all the actors (parents, guardians, biobankers, researchers) such that a dynamic sense of empowerment is promoted and maintained in the biobanking extended community: without all the actors engaged, minors and adults, there is no sustainable fair biobanking over time. 


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