U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Cover of Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences

Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences

Current Issues and Controversies

; ; ; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-45888-7ISBN-10: 0-309-45888-9

There is a growing tension between a scientific culture based on transparency and the need for secrecy to protect national security. While most scientists would argue that the openness that characterizes much of the scientific research enterprise is the source of the extraordinary gains in scientific knowledge that have enriched us materially and intellectually, the ideal of a scientific culture based on principles of openness and transparency faces continuing challenges.

In today's world of rapidly advancing science, where tools and technologies are more widely available than ever before and where the dissemination of scientific findings occurs through multiple channels and at multiple levels, developing policies for managing the dissemination of knowledge, tools, and techniques produced by scientific research has become ever more difficult. It is important to consider whether, among the broader scientific community, there is appropriate awareness of the issues and policies related to life sciences research with the potential for dual use and whether limits placed on research and dissemination are reasonable and serve both scientific and security interests. Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies examines the U.S. strategy for reducing biosecurity risks in life sciences research and considers mechanisms that would allow researchers to manage the dissemination of the results of research while mitigating the potential for harm to national security.


This activity was supported with grants to the National Academy of Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (#G-2014-13656) and by a contract between the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the U.S. Department of Justice (#DJF-15-2300-P-0006686). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

Suggested citation:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Dual Use Research of Concern in the Life Sciences: Current Issues and Controversies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24761.

Copyright 2017 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK458491PMID: 29001489DOI: 10.17226/24761


  • PubReader
  • Print View
  • Cite this Page
  • PDF version of this title (1.0M)

Related information

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...