Sitemap

Dr Mirjana Rajilić- Stojanović, Department Of Biochemical Engineering And Biotechnology, University Of Belgrade Faculty Of Technology And Metallurgy

No Compromising On Personal Honour

Today I lecture at the college. When I recall my schooling, I know that it was marked by people and not the content and subjects, and it is fascinating how much the impression of how interesting a subject was changed as I changed teachers. The teacher gives his own stamp that leads some of us to love nature, others to love numbers and still others to love history. Being a teacher is a privilege thanks to which we can (to some extent) shape future generations, those people who will determine what kind of society we will leave behind when departing this world.

Witnessing the incredibly fast pace of technological progress, it is clear to us that it is knowledge that brings progress, and I certainly insist on my students acquiring knowledge.

However, knowledge alone is not enough. It is very important that during our professional life we do not reject ethics, which are too often traded today, all with the goal of achieving some “success”. I will illustrate my vision through one horror story that I tell my master’s students.

Proteins are a very important component of food, because they contain the building blocks that we will use to make our bodies. Considering the complexity of one’s own body, it is intuitively clear to every person that proteins must be complex chemical compounds. Due to their complexity, proteins are not easy to measure in food, so their content is determined indirectly, via nitrogen content…

And this opened the door to one of the saddest scams to hit the food industry in the 21st century. This scam is also known as the 2008 Chinese milk scandal. With the desire to create the illusion of high protein content in milk intended for babies, someone with sufficient knowledge and a lack of ethics came up with the idea of adding a chemical containing a lot of nitrogen to milk during production. And thus a product of falsely high quality was created, while there was a lack of an adequate risk assessment of such an intervention. The epilogue was that this falsely high quality product intended for newborn children killed six and caused permanent harm to 300,000 of them. Given that the actors in this deed are citizens of China (which has the death penalty), the question of how the man continued to live with himself after such a fraud does not arise.

The opportunities arise in life for a person to make a “compromise”, but it should be kept in mind that it is sometimes difficult to assess the ultimate impact of our actions. That’s why one doesn’t make compromises with one’s own honour

This story is disturbing, but also sobering. Sometimes in life opportunities arise for a person to make a “compromise” that won’t have a similarly dramatic outcome as the previous story, but it should be kept in mind that it is sometimes difficult to assess the ultimate impact of our actions. That’s why one doesn’t make compromises with one’s own honour. Many of my students will one day sign declarations on the quality of food and pharmaceutical products, and it is difficult for me to assess whether it is the chemistry lessons I teach or the incidental ones I provide that are more important for ensuring the quality of those signed declarations.

People are creators. Let’s stop sometimes and ask ourselves what we are creating and how that will impact the world around us. Only a rare few get the opportunity to revise their lives. Alfred Nobel received such an opportunity after reading the headlines of an uninformed French journalist, who responded to the death of the older brother of this wealthy dynamite trader by publishing the headline “Le Marchand de la mort est mort” (The Merchant of Death is Dead). With a desire to leave behind a different mark, Alfred Nobel bequeathed most of his wealth to reward the people “who brought the greatest benefit to humanity during the previous year”.

Let us try to ensure that our contribution, whether small or large, really benefits humanity, and not for the sake of some award, even such a resonant one as Nobel’s.

Related Articles

Nikola Rajaković Ph.D., University Of Belgrade, Faculty Of Electrical Energ

We’re Increasingly Ready For Energy Transition

The key factor in the success of implementing energy policies and plans is the accepting of the paradigm shift in the development of the...

Certificates Handed Over to The First Generation of Students – Managers for Personal Data Protection

Today the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and Dean of the Faculty of Security Studies University of Belgrade, handed...

Zoran Panović

German Imagination

If Serbia does not recognise the independence of Kosovo (even discreetly, through a “legally binding paper”) by the end of Angela Merkel’s term as...

Miloš Zeman, President Of The Czech Republic

Recognition Of Kosovo Is A Mistake

For my many years in politics, I am known as a person who is consistent in his opinions. I still consider the recognition of...

H.E. Silvia Davidoiu, Ambassador of Romania

Connecting Balkan Infrastructure And Energy

We are looking forward to the construction of the Trans-Balkan Power Corridor that will connect the electricity transmission systems of the entire region and...

What Is Serbia’s Foreign Policy Position Like Today?

Syringe And Caprice

On a daily basis, Serbia constructs its image as a skilled player able to easily use its three-pronged or (even) “four-pillared architecture” of foreign...

Dr Marko Dašić, Assistant Professor, University Of Belgrade - Faculty Of Political Science

Policy Diversification Gains Or Credibility Losses?

Serbia’s foreign policy has become a set of disparate, seemingly irreconcilable options that enable the swift implementation of alternatives, without previously prejudicing the final...

Yanis Varoufakis / Project Syndicate

Football Takes Capitalism Out Of Bounds

Last week, Europeans showed the red card to the moguls – and their financiers – who tried to form a Super League of the...

More...

Natalija Dimić, Historian And Research Assistant At The Institute For Recent History Of Serbia

Stimulating Self-Reflection

History is composed of people, their actions, perceptions, words, feelings… In endeavouring to penetrate the motives that drive human action, the historian seeks answers...

Aleksandar Kavčić Ph.D. Scientist And Professor At Carnegie Mellon University

Creating Change For Everyone’s Benefit

Instead of putting large amounts of money into the digitalisation, computerisation and robotisation of students and professors, (where) everybody has to go through the...

Dr Dragana Perkovic Martin, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

The Business Of Inspiration

It is the morning of February 18th 2021. We are gathered in the virtual meeting room while being physically dispersed around Southern California. We’ve...

Jelena Grubor Stefanović, Serbian Chamber Of Commerce & Industry In China

Wealth of Diversity

In retrospect, I believe that all of my major life and business experiences have prepared and led me to this calling and the job...

News

Serbia Returned On EU List Of Safe Countries

The Member States of the European Union (EU) have decided to return Serbia on the list of epidemiologically safe...

Biden, Putin Face Off At Long-awaited Summit

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have started a high-stakes summit that is expected to be...

Six New Ambulances For Health Care Institutions In Serbia Delivered

The Ambassador of the United States of America to Serbia, Anthony Godfrey, presented today 6 new ambulances to the...

Mitigation Measures Against Coronavirus Epidemic

Provincial Secretary of Health and member of the COVID-19 crisis response team Zoran Gojkovic announced that at today's session...

New Call For Young Ambassadors

The Young European Ambassadors (YEA) network launched new call for applications for young people from the Western Balkans between...

Serbia Returned On EU List Of Safe Countries

The Member States of the European Union (EU) have decided to return Serbia on the list of epidemiologically safe...

Biden, Putin Face Off At Long-awaited Summit

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have started a high-stakes summit that is expected to be...

Six New Ambulances For Health Care Institutions In Serbia Delivered

The Ambassador of the United States of America to Serbia, Anthony Godfrey, presented today 6 new ambulances to the...

Mitigation Measures Against Coronavirus Epidemic

Provincial Secretary of Health and member of the COVID-19 crisis response team Zoran Gojkovic announced that at today's session...

New Call For Young Ambassadors

The Young European Ambassadors (YEA) network launched new call for applications for young people from the Western Balkans between...

Serbia Returned On EU List Of Safe Countries

The Member States of the European Union (EU) have decided to return Serbia on the list of epidemiologically safe...

Biden, Putin Face Off At Long-awaited Summit

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have started a high-stakes summit that is expected to be...

Six New Ambulances For Health Care Institutions In Serbia Delivered

The Ambassador of the United States of America to Serbia, Anthony Godfrey, presented today 6 new ambulances to the...

Mitigation Measures Against Coronavirus Epidemic

Provincial Secretary of Health and member of the COVID-19 crisis response team Zoran Gojkovic announced that at today's session...

New Call For Young Ambassadors

The Young European Ambassadors (YEA) network launched new call for applications for young people from the Western Balkans between...