Bridging Science and Security for Biological Research

AAAS, in collaboration with the AAU, APLU, and FBI, convened a meeting to encourage dialogue and communication among officials from leading research universities (including vice presidents of research or compliance, environmental health and safety officials, biosafety officials), senior faculty and FBI WMD Coordinators about security risks associated with biological research. The meeting was held at AAU and AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC on February 21-23, 2012. The formal meeting was on February 21-22, 2012 and FBI Coordinators toured two University of Maryland research facilities on February 23, 2012. This opportunity offered university officials a chance to understand the roles and responsibilities of the FBI and university employees in challenging biosecurity situations, as well as providing FBI Coordinators an opportunity to understand better the challenges facing universities and view actual biology laboratories.

Kavita M. Berger, Carrie Wolinetz, Kari McCarron, Edward You, & K. William So
Publish Date:

Bridging Science and Security for Biological Research: A Discussion about Dual Use Review and Oversight at Research Institutions

In September 2012, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) convened a meeting of scientists, research administrators, and biosecurity experts to share information about existing programs for review, oversight, and communication of dual use research.

Meeting participants were asked to consider the following questions:

•What dual use oversight strategies have institutions voluntarily implemented?
•What challenges did institutions face when implementing dual use review and oversight programs?
•What aspects of dual use review and oversight worked well?
•What is the current state of regulatory burden on research institutions?

The goals of the meeting were to:

•Share best practices from voluntarily-implemented review and oversight programs;
•Identify and discuss lessons learned about the review, mitigation, and communication of potential using the recent H5N1 papers as a case study; and
•Inform current national-level policy debates on dual use life sciences research.

American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Publish Date:
September 2012

Building the Biodefense Policy Workforce

Two units of AAAS—the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy and the Program on Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law – have conducted a study on educational initiatives to build a knowledgeable workforce in biodefense policy development and program management.

We convened a group of experts in biodefense and biosecurity on August 11, 2009 at AAAS to review existing educational initiatives on biodefense policy, and to inform recommendations for improving workforce development activities in this area.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
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August 2009

BWC Daily Reports and Briefing Notes

In conjunction with the BioWeapons Prevention Project, Richard Guthrie has been producing daily reports from the inter-governmental meetings of the Biological Weapons Convention since 2006.
In addition, it has become established practice for States Parties to the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) to meet every five years to review the operation of the Convention, taking into account relevant developments in science and technology (S&T). Changes in both security and science since 1972 have generated questions over whether this process is fit for purpose. Accordingly, the Harvard Sussex Program is leading a project designed to investigate the process of S&T Review within the BWC and assess alternative proposals and options to improve this process in terms of their technical and political feasibility.

Richard Guthrie, Kai Ilchmann, James Revill, Caitríona McLeish & Paul Nightingale

Center for Biosecurity Annual Report, 2011-2012

“The Center for Biosecurity is an independent nonprofit organization of UPMC. Our mission is to strengthen U.S. national security and resilience by reducing dangers posed by epidemics, biothreats, nuclear disasters, and other destabilizing events.

Our staff comprises experts in medicine, public health, national security, law, economics, the biological and social sciences, and global health.

We conduct original research and policy analysis, convene experts to solve difficult problems, and inform and engage national leaders.”

Center for Biosecurity of UPMC
Publish Date:
Jun 2012