FIGURE 3-11 Respondents views regarding whether dual use research needs greater federal oversight.

FIGURE 3-11 Respondents’ views regarding whether dual use research needs greater federal oversight.

NOTE: Based on 1,637 respondents.

SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff.

BOX 3-10

Illustrative Respondent Comments on Federal Oversight

“Dual use is nothing new, and restrictions on research in the name of preventing a bioterrorist attack is the worst form of censorship and is far more likely to produce greater problems and retard research than it is to foil a potential terrorist—free societies need to remain free, and research needs to proceed without additional controls beyond what is needed to ensure the safety of those performing the research and the general public from the research itself—not unlikely hypothetical misuse of the research by malignant boogie men. By such reasoning, all research could potentially be censored and we could enter a new dark ages.”


“Any desire to restrict the scientific pursuit of items that can be ambiguously termed “dual-use” would be harmful to science in this country. Additional rules for science usage are much riper for abuse of scientists than the “dual-use” science in the public domain.”


“By restricting research on biological agents that could be used in bioterrorism, we are more likely to prevent knowledge that will protect us from such agents.”



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