Cosy corner to mull over bioethics at the National Library

Launched in October 2022, the Bioethics Corner is part of a collaboration between the National Library Board (NLB) and the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC), supported by the Ministry of Health (MOH), with an aim to promote greater awareness and understanding of bioethics in Singapore.


The BAC defines bioethics as the study of ethical, social and legal issues emerging from advances in biomedical sciences and research and medicine, which acts as a framework enabling us to think through and make practical, reasonable decisions on conflicting moral issues in biomedical advancements.

The Bioethics Corner features a physical collection of more than 150 physical titles across a wide range of bioethics-related topics, such as big data and artificial intelligence in healthcare, CRISPR[1] technology, organ trade, gene modification and assisted suicide, and is inclusive of fiction and non-fiction titles. The Corner also features a regularly updated list of 50 eBook and eAudiobook bioethics-related titles that can be found on Libby, the NLB’s digital platform for eBooks/eAudiobooks. More than 13,600 books and 5,500 e-books on bioethics are also available on NLB’s mobile application.

Key eBook titles added to the collection include:

Birth of Intelligence: From RNA to Artificial Intelligence 
(Available on Libby)
Predictive Medicine: Artificial Intelligence and its Impact on Healthcare Business Strategy 
(Available on Libby)
Data analytics for Pandemics: A Covid-19 Case Study
(Available on Libby)

Also in place are two multimedia stations that facilitate access to NLB’s digital resources e.g. databases and journals, for further independent exploration of the issues in bioethics. The BAC and NLB will continue to add both physical and electronic titles over the next three years, in line with NLB’s Libraries and Archives Blueprint 2025 (LAB25) initiatives to build a Learning Marketplace.

Programmes are also in place to complement the space. At its launch and in line with World Bioethics Day, a panel discussion on the use of big data and artificial intelligence in human biomedical research was held, igniting a lively exchange of insights between bioethics experts and members of the public.

Bioethics experts and participants discussed the use of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in human biomedical research at the launch of the Bioethics Corner.

Similarly, the NLB and BAC are working to have bioethics-related programmes available and accessible to the general public this year. Some are already in the pipeline, such as the October session of the “A Librarian’s World” series by the National Library. If this piques your interest, do sign up when registration opens for these programmes, and join us for some ethically-sourced discussion!

The Bioethics Corner is open to the public during library opening hours (Mon-Sun, 10am -9pm, excluding public holidays).  It is located at:
Level 7 Reading Room
Lee Kong Chian Reference Library
National Library Building
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064

Contributed by:
Rosxalynd Liu
Librarian (Collections- Arts & General Reference)
National Library Board

[1] CRISPR – Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. CRISPR sequences helps to form the basis of a technology used in gene editing in organisms, which is then widely applied to biological research, research and development of biotechnological products, and treatment of diseases.