Statement for the U.S. Government Public Consultation Meeting on Oversight of Dual Use Life Sciences Research, National Institutes of Health
Comments on Panel II – “Responsibilities and Process for the Identification and Oversight of Dual Use Research of Concern”
I would like to commend the U.S. Government for holding this public consultation meeting, as well as the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), whose June 2007 report, “Proposed Framework for the Oversight of Dual Use Life Sciences Research,” is the starting point for our discussion today. In that report, the NSABB issued a strong call for an iterative process of consultations with the public and government, and noted that it anticipated modifying its proposed oversight framework in response to input from those consultations. The comments I will make today concerning the June 2007 proposed framework are offered in the same spirit of cooperation. They are based on nearly 30 years of experience studying biological and chemical threats and developing policies aimed at reducing those threats. This includes eight years coordinating U.S. biological and chemical weapons policy on the National Security Council staff and, most recently, codirecting a project at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) on managing the risks from dual-use research.