New Publication: Life scientists' views and perspectives on the regulation of dual-use research of concern.
Engel-Glatter, S.; Ienca, M. (2017): Science and Public Policy, 14 September 2017.
In the early 2000s, several publications initiated a debate about the potential misuse of academic life science research. The debate was refueled in 2012, when two studies describing the engineering of human transmissive H5N1 bird flu virus were published. To facilitate the debate on dual-use research of concern (DURC) and regulatory measures, we interviewed life science researchers working in Switzerland about their views on DURC. The results indicate that all scientists interviewed were aware of the debate, however, few had reflected about dual-use aspects with regard to their own work. Although all respondents believed in freedom of research, a majority was supportive of some form of regulation of DURC. This article discusses the major implications of the study, especially regarding the implementation of regulatory measures. In addition, preliminary recommendations are given for raising awareness on DURC in the life sciences among researchers.