NAS publish the Report, Life Sciences and Related Fields: Trends Relevant to the BWC

1st November 2011

The U.S. National Academies, in cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, IAP—The Global Network of Science Academies, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the International Union of Microbiological Societies, published the report:  Life Sciences and Related Fields: Trends Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention, National Academies Press, 2011. The report builds on a workshop held in Beijing in November 2010, in which “80 scientists and policy makers from 28 countries and several international Organizations” participated.

The report provides detailed coverage of a number of S&T related issue of relevance to the BWC, including the “pace of developments in the life sciences”; the “diffusion of life sciences research capacity and applications”; and the increasingly broad range of disciplines that contribute to the life sciences. One of the central conclusions of the report is that:

 “None of the trends surveyed for this report currently falls outside the scope of Article I. The language of the treaty, as reinforced by the common understandings reached in prior review conferences, provides a degree of flexibility that has so far allowed it to adapt to progress in the life sciences and related scientific fields. The committee recognizes, however, that as new developments arise, including in fields of research that this report did not assess in depth, there may be surprise discoveries; hence, continued monitoring of advances in the life sciences and evaluation of their relevance for the BWC will be important.”

It further offers reflection on some of the processes that could be employed in seeking to change the S&T Review Process and issues to consider in such efforts.

Follow the link to view the report, Life Sciences and Related Fields: Trends Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention

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