Commentary

Biosecurity and Dual-Use Technologies

in Program

Dual-use technologies can be applied to a purpose outside of the original intent, whether beneficially (as when a technology developed for the military also proves useful in the commercial or public sector), or maliciously. The anthrax assaults of 2001 drew scrutiny to the biosciences as a field in which almost every technology can be termed dual-use. Policymakers focused quickly on limiting access to “dangerous pathogens,” but scientists themselves have reached little consensus on whether this approach mends an appalling vulnerability or offers only a false sense of security purchased with onerous paperwork. If any biotechnology could be potentially misused, what, who, and how do we regulate? The Biological and Chemical Threats program evaluates the effectiveness of the evolving U.S. biosecurity framework in the context of historical dual-use technology controls, recommending next steps for policymakers and scientists alike. READ MORE » 

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