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JDR Vol.8 No.4 pp. 674-685
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2013.p0674
(2013)

Review:

Promoting Education of Dual-Use Issues for Life Scientists: A Comprehensive Approach

Masamichi Minehata*, Judi Sture*, Nariyoshi Shinomiya**,
Simon Whitby*, and Malcolm Dando*

*Bradford Disarmament Research Centre, University of Bradford, Richmond Road, Bradford West Yorkshire, BD71DP, UK

**Department of Integrative Physiology and Bio-Nano Medicine, National Defense Medical College, 3-2 Namiki Tokorozawa, Saitama 3598513, Japan

Received:
March 28, 2013
Accepted:
May 28, 2013
Published:
August 1, 2013
Keywords:
biosecurity, biorisk, education, biological weapons convention, responsible research
Abstract

Ensuring that cutting-edge science and technology are used solely for peaceful purposes is a challenge. One of the most urgent agendas facing current international society is how to address this challenge in the life sciences when there is a pervasive lack of awareness about dual-use issues in the life science community on a world-wide scale. To help mitigate this deficiency, we argue that education and awareness-raising among life scientists offer a strong foundation on which to build the responsible conduct in the life sciences. We therefore propose a comprehensive model to promote this education; starting with a background survey to highlight the current state of education about dualuse issues in life science degree courses in higher education, we follow with the development of education material and train-the-trainer programs, efforts are then recommended to influence the editors of science journals and the various funding bodies, with the final stage being the international sharing of emerging best practices in such education. We provide a rationale and current activities to illustrate each of the above agendas and show how nascent efforts have been made by individual institutions from the bottom-up and by governments and international organizations from the top-down.

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