The risk of bioweapons use: Considering the evidence base

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Abstract

There are some weapons deemed so abhorrent the international community has agreed to eliminate them completely. The first of these was biological weapons. Their use was banned already in 1925; their development, production and stockpiling in 1972. Yet concerns about these weapons have not gone away. Indeed, post 9/11 and the anthrax letters the political attention to them has increased, despite what seems to be a very weak evidence-base. This roundtable asks four leading biological disarmament and non-proliferation experts their views on the risk of bioweapons proliferation and use, the strength of the taboo and prohibition against the use of biology to sicken and kill people, and the responsibility of life scientists in this regard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalBioSocieties
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2014

Keywords

  • biological weapons
  • bioterrorism
  • risk
  • governance
  • expertise

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