A web of prevention : biological weapons, life sciences and by Brian Rappert, Caitriona McLeish

By Brian Rappert, Caitriona McLeish

Web of Prevention presents a well timed contribution to the present debate approximately existence technological know-how learn and its implications for defense. it's an informative consultant for either specialists and the general public. it's a forward-looking contribution masking either ends of the equation and creates momentum for the present dialogue on potent preventive measures and potent keep an eye on measures. whereas there aren't any promises for fighting misuse, there are still an important steps the realm neighborhood can take in the direction of the overarching aim of an international community for the lifestyles sciences. This publication sheds gentle on concrete steps towards the fulfillment of this invaluable target.

"This publication with its number of essays presents an in-depth research of a number of the collectively reinforcing components that jointly create and develop an internet of prevention - or of insurance - that's very important to make sure that the advances within the existence sciences aren't misused to reason damage. All these engaged within the existence sciences and in coverage making in governments around the globe may still learn this publication to allow them to take steps to reinforce the internet fighting organic weapons".
From the Foreword via Dr Gabriele Kraatz-Wadsack, leader, guns of Mass Destruction department, workplace for Disarmament Affairs, United Nations.

"Since September eleven, 2001 in lots of nations renewed consciousness has been given to how learn within the lifestyles sciences may well inadvertently or deliberately facilitate the advance of organic or chemical guns. This cutting-edge quantity examines the whole quantity of the problems and debates. assurance comprises an outline of contemporary medical achievements in virology, microbiology, immunology and genetic engineering which will asking how they may facilitate the creation of guns of mass destruction by way of kingdom, sub-state or terrorist enterprises. attention is given to what we've and have not realized from the earlier. making use of either educational research and reflections by means of practitioners, the e-book examines the security-inspired governance regimes for the lifestyles sciences which are below improvement. eventually the authors research what's required to shape a entire and conceivable net of prevention and spotlight the significance of encouraging discussions among scientists, coverage makers and others in regards to the governance of significant yet almost certainly risky research".
Dr Graham S. Pearson, traveling Professor of foreign defense, college of Bradford, united kingdom and formerly Director-General, Chemical and organic Defence institution, united kingdom


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Extra resources for A web of prevention : biological weapons, life sciences and the governance of research

Sample text

Under the proposed code, all individuals and institutions engaged in any aspect of the life sciences would have to: • • • • Work to ensure that their discoveries and knowledge do no harm by: – refusing to engage in any research that is intended to facilitate or that has a high probability of being used to facilitate bioterrorism or biowarfare; and – never knowingly or recklessly contributing to the development, production or acquisition of microbial or other biological agents or toxins, whatever their origin or method of production, of types or in quantities that cannot be justified on the basis that they are necessary for prophylactic, protective, therapeutic or other peaceful purposes.

However, while government networks themselves are not new, a number of factors distinguish contemporary networks from their predecessors. As identified by Slaughter (2004, pp10–11), these include the ‘scale, scope and type’ of transgovernmental ties, the ‘wider array of functions’ performed than in the past, and the fact that they have ‘spread far beyond regulators to judges and legislators’. Reflecting the complexity of countering biological weapons and the rise of networks in other areas of international relations, in 2006 the UN SecretaryGeneral proposed the creation of: 3213 J&J A Web of Prevention 8 31/8/07 2:40 pm Page 8 A Web of Prevention … a forum that will bring together the various stakeholders – Governments, industry, science, public health, security, the public writ large – into a common program, built from the bottom up, to ensure that biotechnology’s advances are used for the public good and that the benefits are shared equitably around the world.

A number of nations, including the UK and the US, have enacted legislation codifying the prohibitions of the BWC. The UK adopted the 1974 Biological Weapons Act and the US enacted the 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act to meet their obligations under the BWC. While such national statutes are necessary to implement international conventions in domestic law and are useful in deferring the prohibited conduct, they present daunting problems of harmonizing their various provisions with domestic law regarding the definition of crimes, rights of the accused, dispute resolution and judicial assistance, amongst other matters.

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