“Governance of Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences” at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
On behalf of the Committee on Governance of Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: Advancing Global Consensus on Research Oversight and the Board of Life Sciences, US National Academies:
In the grand hall of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, on 28th May 2019, promotion of the book “Governance of Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences” was held. The book was published in The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Press, USA, and in collaboration with the InterAcademy Partnership, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the Croatian Society for Biosafety and Biosecurity, the Croatian Medical Association. A welcome word was addressed by the academician Vida Demarin, secretary of the Department of Medical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Professor Alemka Markotić, MD, PhD, Director of the University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljević “, an associate member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Ljiljana Žmak, MD, PhD, vice-president of the Croatian Society for Biosafety and Biosecurity spoke about the book.
The book is proceedings of the homonymous workshop, Governance of Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: Advancing Global Consensus on Research Oversight
convened by U.S. National Academies, InterAcademy Partnership, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Croatian Society for Biosafety and Biosecurity, hosted at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in June 2018 and supported by the Open Philanthropy Project. Approximately, 70 participants from 30 countries and five international organizations were involved in the workshop that consisted of a mix of plenary sessions and breakout discussions. The workshop and the proceedings focused on the critical challenge of how to create and support effective systems of governance for life sciences research that may raise dual use concerns.
The main subject of the book is extremely timely and important for experts and scientists who use different high technologies in biomedical and natural sciences research of different, very often highly pathogenic microorganisms, in order to discover new drugs and vaccines, as well as for the international institutions that finance such research. Also, this issue is extremely important for legal experts and for national and international institutions, governments, ministries and security services in charge of safeguarding biosecurity and other security measures and preventing information and technology from coming to the hands of those who could use them for negative purposes such as the production of biological weapons or the creation of new deadly microorganisms. The book summarizes the guidelines and interdisciplinary experiences of about 70 top world scientists and researchers from all continents, including Croatian scientists. The book consists of four chapters: In Chapter 1, the introduction of main goals of the workshop were presented, the plenary sessions devoted to particular topics and issues are summarized in Chapter 2, while examples of the landscape of current governance activities are presented in Chapter 3. The results of the workshop discussions are presented thematically in Chapter 4.
The book proceedings and the workshop were presented at the 2018 Meeting of State Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in December 5th, 2018 in the Palais des Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland. The session was chaired by Alemka Markotić and speakers were: James Revill, University of Sussex, UK; Peter McGrath, InterAcademy Partnership and Katherine Bowman, U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
Workshop Proceedings and 4-page highlights are available for free PDF download: www.nap.edu/25154. Workshop agenda, participant list and presentations are available at http://nas-sites.org/dels/events/dual-use-governance/.