A Web of Prevention: Biological Weapons, Life Sciences and by Brian Rapper, Caitriona McLeish

By Brian Rapper, Caitriona McLeish

Due to the fact September eleven, governments and the general public at huge in lots of international locations have raised severe issues approximately clinical study within the lifestyles sciences that may inadvertently facilitate the improvement of organic or chemical guns. This cutting-edge quantity examines the complete quantity of the problems and debates.Coverage comprises an outline of contemporary medical achievements in virology, microbiology, immunology and genetic engineering to be able to asking how they could facilitate the construction of guns of mass destruction by means of country, sub-state or terrorist businesses. consciousness is given to what we have now and haven’t realized from the prior. making use of either educational research and reflections via practitioners, the e-book examines the security-inspired governance regimes for the lifestyles sciences which are less than improvement. finally the authors research what's required to shape a accomplished and manageable “web of prevention” and spotlight the significance of encouraging discussions among lecturers and coverage makers in regards to the governance of significant yet in all likelihood risky learn.

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In Chapters 7 and 8, the prospects for such systems are examined. In Chapter 7, Harris surveys prominent existing proposals for formal oversight and, in particular, outlines the rationale for the Biological Research Security System developed by her and colleagues at the Center for International and Security Studies in Maryland, US. In Chapter 8, Holohan, formerly executive director of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, assesses the Maryland system and situates it within wider national and international considerations about oversight.

Scientists have a special responsibility when it comes to problems of ‘dual use’ and the misuse of science and technology. (IAP, 2005) The security concerns about dual use research reflect a growing awareness that the rapid advances in knowledge and technology occurring in the life sciences that offer great potential benefits can, by accident, produce unexpected results or be misused to cause deliberate harm through bioterrorism or even biowarfare – for instance, biowarfare waged through ‘planned epidemics’.

These basic presumptions are important because they establish the decision-making framework, including the ethical decision-making framework, upon which we ground our arguments. There are four possible basic presumptions: 1 ‘No’: we must not do this. 2 ‘Yes’: we may do it; there are no restrictions or conditions on what we want to do. 3 ‘No, unless …’: no, we must not do it unless we can justify it and these are the requirements for justification. 4 ‘Yes, but …’: yes, we may do it, but not if certain circumstances prevail.

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