The HSP London CBW Seminar

In collaboration with the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, HSP convenes a seminar in London that seeks to promote communication between governmental and non-governmental specialists in CBW affairs. Sessions of the seminar are conducted under Chatham House rules, and participation is by invitation only.

This is a series of off-the-record invitation-only meetings bringing together some 30 participants - officials from government departments, academics and people from research institutes, doctoral students and specialist journalists - to discuss particular CBW-related issues. If the presenter is a governmental official, the initial discussant is non-governmental, or vice versa. Sessions of the seminar that address historical topics are convened jointly with the Arms Control and Disarmament Research Unit of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Other sessions take place within university premises. In the early days of the seminar, there were some sessions during group visits of seminar participants to the Ministry of Defence Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment (CBDE) at Porton Down at the invitation of then Director-General, Dr Graham Pearson.

Past sessions have been on the following topics:

The UK and the Chemical Weapons Convention: Oral History (27 September 2005), a day-long witness seminar chaired by John Walker and Ian Kenyon.

The Korean war and after: responding to allegations about biological or chemical weapons (October 2004), introduced by John Ellis van Courtland Moon.

Ethics and weapons of mass destruction: a comparison of the response of biological and nuclear scientists (March 2004), introduced by Don Avery.

Secrecy, patents and the history of VX nerve gas: lessons for contemporary debates on access to proliferation-sensitive information (March 2003), introduced by Brian Balmer.

The legacy of the Soviet biological warfare programme: a stalled and unresolved trilateral process (October 2002), introduced by David Kelly.

The Fifth BWC Review Conference (March 2001), introduced by Nicholas Sims.

The history of opprobrium at Porton Down (June 2000), introduced by Gradon Carter.

The evolution of UK biological weapons policy after World War II (November 1998), introduced by Brian Balmer.

The history of UK policy and preparedness for CBW as portrayed in UK state papers (May 1997), introduced by John Harding.

Prospects for the Fourth Review Conference of the BWC (September 1996), introduced by Malcolm Dando.

The draft Chemical Weapons Bill implementing the CWC in the United Kingdom (September 1995), introduced by Peter Agrell and David Halldearn.

Implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the UK (July 1994), introduced by Julian Robinson at CBDE Porton Down.

UK obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (July 1993), introduced by Julian Robinson at CBDE Porton Down.

The 1979 anthrax epidemic in Sverdlovsk and its relevance to verification of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (May 1993), introduced by Matthew Meselson.

The CW experience of UNSCOM and its relevance to the OPCW Preparatory Commission (March 1993), introduced by Bryan Barrass.

Prospects for the OPCW Preparatory Commission (February 1993), introduced by Julian Robinson.

Implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention in the UK (July 1992), introduced by Barry Harding.

The role of CBDE Porton Down within the impending CWC regime (June 1992), introduced by Julian Robinson at CBDE Porton Down.

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