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CLB Speaker Series: David Relman


March 19, 2007 5:00pm - 6:00pm


"Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences and National Security"

As progress in life sciences research accelerates throughout an increasingly polarized and politically-unstable world, the possibilities for misuse of this science and the consequences of misuse expand and proliferate. In the face of these challenges, the United States and other nations have made efforts to control, contain, and regulate some "dual-use" research of concern. At the same time, however well-intentioned, these kinds of efforts may impede scientific progress and cripple the research enterprise. One of our most demanding issues today, and one that faces the newly-created National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, is the need to define a proper balance between security and open, unrestricted flow of fundamental scientific information.

David Relman, M.D., is associate professor of medicine, and of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University. Of relevance to the subject of his lecture, Relman is a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. He also co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare (2004-2006), is currently a member of the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats, and advises several U.S. Government departments and agencies on matters related to the future life sciences landscape and the nature of present and future biological threats.