Project news

September 2, 2010

Public Policy Scholar Pauwels Testifies before Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Meeting of Experts at the United Nations

The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) effectively prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, retention, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons and is a key element in the international community’s efforts to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The BWC is charged with keeping abreast of relevant developments in science and technology and ensuring that the life sciences continue to be used solely for the benefit of humanity.

Read the Concept Paper on Synthetic Biology and BWC, here.

The August 25 Seminar on the margins of the 2010 meetings of the BWC marked the culmination of 3 years of engagement on synthetic biology. The Seminar briefed the BWC community on non-security challenges raised by synthetic biology and illustrated how they are being dealt with.

The event included a small panel of world-experts – people already bridging the gap between science and policy: Pr. Jane Calvert (Edinburgh University) addressed the broader ethical and social implications of synthetic biology; Dr. Markus Schmidt (IDC) identified some of the synthetic biology’s risk issues; Public Policy Scholar Eleonore Pauwels analyzed public perceptions about this new science and how the related public policy debate is being framed.

All 2010 BWC Meetings’ Briefings are available on the UNOG website/04FBBDD6315AC720C1257180004B1B2F?OpenDocument)+.

Read about the Seminar “Synthetic Biology: Engineering A Safer Future” here.