Science publishing versus security

Meeting explores balance between openness and defense of sensitive data.

Willie Schatz(willie@schatzgroup.com)
Jan 12, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC — "We can outlaw biological weapons but not the knowledge to make them or resurrect them," John Marburger, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), warned at a public workshop held January 9 at the National Academies of Science (NAS). Organized by both NAS and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the forum gathered scientists, Administration officials and security experts to discuss whether publication practices in the life sciences could lead to the inadvertent disclosure of "sensitive" information to those who might misuse it.

"Previous restraints on the release of scientific information are not good guidelines for the issues we're facing today," Marburger declared. "We haven't had to reflect on the potential dual nature of biomedical products because they've been thought of as benign for so long."

But they are no longer, and life scientists are preparing for the possible imposition...

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