To analyze the security risks of biological research, policy makers would need to know two things: the likelihood that bioweapons will threaten national security, and the likelihood that legitimate research could be misused to make bioweapons.
Both of these judgments are challenging to make. Since there have been few verified historical examples of bioterrorism or biowarfare, it’s hard to know how to quantify these risks. So lawmakers often rely on expert opinions. However, these expert opinions often differ widely, as evidenced by a paper published recently in Science.
The authors of this paper invited individuals with responsibility for setting public policy regarding bioweapons to provide their opinions regarding the risks. Included among the participants were past and present US government officials, academics, private sector individuals, and people in industry. They had backgrounds in the biological sciences, medicine, public health, national security, and international affairs. In general, these were people who should know about the topic.
Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply