Testimony to Committee on Dual-Use Research of Concern: Options for Limited Communication

Publication Date: 
July 2016
Description: 
Public testimony
Project: 
The Controlling Dangerous Pathogens Project
Document Type: 
Conference Reports, Presentations and Other Documents
I would like to thank the Committee for inviting me to provide my assessment of some of the challenges facing the current US Government (USG) approach to the communication of dual-use research of concern (DURC) as well as possible options for addressing this issue moving forward.  I would like to begin by emphasizing that the goal of a DURC communication policy should not be to impede the free flow of the results of fundamental research.  Instead, the goal should be to limit communication or dissemination only in those very rare instances when the risks of particular research results or methods clearly outweigh the potential benefits, posing significant risks to public health.  I say “rare” instances based on the actual record to date.  Since its creation more than a decade ago, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has been asked by the USG to review only six manuscripts to determine whether any limitations should be placed on the communication of the methods or results.