By Brian Rapper, Caitriona McLeish
Considering the fact that September eleven, governments and the general public at huge in lots of international locations have raised critical matters approximately clinical study within the lifestyles sciences that will inadvertently facilitate the advance of organic or chemical guns. This cutting-edge quantity examines the complete volume of the problems and debates.Coverage comprises an summary of contemporary medical achievements in virology, microbiology, immunology and genetic engineering with a purpose to asking how they could facilitate the construction of guns of mass destruction via country, sub-state or terrorist agencies. consciousness is given to what we've got and haven’t realized from the previous. making use of either educational research and reflections by means of practitioners, the booklet examines the security-inspired governance regimes for the lifestyles sciences which are below improvement. finally the authors learn what's required to shape a entire and doable “web of prevention” and spotlight the significance of encouraging discussions among lecturers and coverage makers concerning the governance of important yet in all likelihood harmful learn.
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Extra info for A Web of Prevention: Biological Weapons, Life Sciences and the Future Governance of Research
Although the BWC established the international ‘legal’ norm against the development of biological weapons, it does not include provisions specifying the consequences for failing to meet the obligations of the treaty. As pointed out by Guillemin (2006): When considering the potential threat of biological weapons in the hands of rogue states or terrorist groups, security experts tend to assume that scientists will always lend a hand to prevent such nefarious use of their research. Yet every programme to develop biological weapons – including those by the US, Canada, the UK, Japan and France (prior to the signing of the BWC in 1972), the former Soviet Union (even after their becoming a signatory to the BWC), Iraq (prior to the first Gulf War) and others – included scientists who were willing to engage in such activities.
We argue that both ethics and law, in a wide variety of institutional forms, are needed to help to ensure the life sciences do not become the death sciences. 3213 J&J A Web of Prevention 16 31/8/07 2:40 pm Page 16 A Web of Prevention In general, ethics is used to govern relationships between intimates and law is used to govern relationships between strangers. Today’s relationship between science and society is a mixture of trusted friends whom we depend upon for health and well-being, and distant strangers whose motives are often unknown and, sometimes, malicious.
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. The contribution of expert advice is a well-established means by which members of the scientific community seek to shape government decisionmaking. Two chapters in this book address expert advice. The first, in Chapter 5, is an account by the British Royal Society of the conclusions of an international workshop of scientists, policy analysts, officials and others held at the Royal Society from 4 to 6 September 2006.