3
Results of the Survey

This chapter presents the results of a survey of life scientist members of the AAAS who could readily be reached via e-mail about a range of issues related to biosecurity: their perceptions of the risk of bioterrorism and whether aspects of scientific communication might somehow contribute to increasing those risks; whether they have made changes in how they conduct research in response to dual use concerns; and their attitudes about what policies and practices might reduce the risks of dual use issues and who should have responsibility for implementing them. Quantitative data were collected via a Web-based survey, with invitations to participate sent to a sample of 10,000 life scientists who are AAAS members with verified e-mail addresses. Of the 10,000 scientists in the sample, 1,570 (or 15.7 percent) responded with completed questionnaires. Almost all of the respondents have conducted or managed life sciences research (and three-quarters of them are currently doing so), were employed, had a postgraduate degree, and were U.S. citizens. In addition, as described in Chapter 2, a substantial majority of the scientists were academics and most were mid-career.

This chapter is divided into several sections reflecting particular results from the survey. Each section contains a brief background and a discussion of the responses and their possible implications, followed by a list summarizing the key results. The next section focuses on the types of research that the scientists who responded to the survey conduct, such as dual use or work with select agents. That is followed by a section on the views of these life scientists on bioterrorism, which includes both



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3 Results of the Survey This chapter presents the results of a survey of life scientist members of the AAAS who could readily be reached via e-mail about a range of issues related to biosecurity: their perceptions of the risk of bioterrorism and whether aspects of scientific communication might somehow con - tribute to increasing those risks; whether they have made changes in how they conduct research in response to dual use concerns; and their attitudes about what policies and practices might reduce the risks of dual use issues and who should have responsibility for implementing them. Quantitative data were collected via a Web-based survey, with invitations to participate sent to a sample of 10,000 life scientists who are AAAS members with verified e-mail addresses. Of the 10,000 scientists in the sample, 1,570 (or 15.7 percent) responded with completed questionnaires. Almost all of the respondents have conducted or managed life sciences research (and three-quarters of them are currently doing so), were employed, had a postgraduate degree, and were U.S. citizens. In addition, as described in Chapter 2, a substantial majority of the scientists were academics and most were mid-career. This chapter is divided into several sections reflecting particular results from the survey. Each section contains a brief background and a discussion of the responses and their possible implications, followed by a list summarizing the key results. The next section focuses on the types of research that the scientists who responded to the survey conduct, such as dual use or work with select agents. That is followed by a section on the views of these life scientists on bioterrorism, which includes both 

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 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES their perceptions of the biosecurity risk and their views about a vari- ety of conditions that could facilitate a biorterror attack. The question- naire was organized around the potential responsibilities of individuals and institutions so the presentation of results in the “Responsibility for Oversight” section follows that structure. The final section on “Policy” is focused on what steps the life scientists who responded to the survey support to reduce the potential that research results could pose a threat to national security. This analysis yielded results that the committee believes can help inform educational and outreach efforts to increase awareness and enhance oversight of research that raises concerns about dual use potential. RESPONDENTS’ RESEARCH EXPERIENCE Background As noted in Chapter 2, about 95 percent of the respondents to the survey had conducted or managed research at some point in their careers and 80 percent of those who had were also currently conducting or man- aging research. This section focuses on the types of research that these scientists conduct, specifically whether they considered their research to be dual use, their research involved any of seven categories of experi - ments identified by the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB 2007), or their research involved select agents. Each of these types of research has been identified as producing the sort of results that raise concerns about potential misuse. The terms are discussed below, includ - ing an explanation of the definitions provided to survey participants. Asking scientists about their experiences with dual use research is complicated by the fact that the term “dual use” can have different defi- nitions.1 The committee was not certain if scientists were familiar with the concept of dual use research of concern as it is used by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB 2007). To help avoid con - fusion, the survey provided the following definition of dual use research: “In recent years, members of the scientific and security policy communi- ties have raised concerns about the potential for misuse of knowledge, tools and techniques for purposes of bioterrorism. Such research is some - times called ‘dual use’ research because, although the research is intended only for beneficial purposes, it could be misapplied.” On the basis of this definition, survey participants were asked whether they considered any 1 See Atlas and Dando (2006) for a discussion of the various meanings of the term “dual use.”

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY of the research they were currently conducting or managing to have “dual use potential”2 Another way to consider whether scientists are carrying out dual use research is to focus on particular types of experiments that seem most likely to raise issues relative to the potential for misuse. This approach was recommended by the Fink committee in its National Research Coun- cil (NRC) report, Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism: The Committee identified seven classes of experiments that it believes illustrate the types of endeavors or discoveries that will require review and discussion by informed members of the scientific and medical com - munity before they are undertaken or, if carried out, before they are published in full detail. These categories represent experiments that are feasible with existing knowledge and technologies or with advances that the Committee could anticipate occurring in the near future (NRC 2004a:113). The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), build- ing on the Fink report, adopted a similar list of seven categories of experi- ments (see Box 1-2), which focus on microbial threats (NRC 2004a). Since this is the list that would form the basis for the policies recommended by the NSABB for all federally funded dual use research of concern (NSABB 2007), the committee wanted to learn how many of the respondents were conducting this type of research. Because the level of awareness of the NSABB list among the U.S. scientific community is not known, the ques - tion was prefaced with the following introduction: The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has identi- fied a subset of life sciences research that they believe may be worthwhile but may also need special review. Such research includes experiments designed to (1) enhance the harmful consequences of a biological agent or toxin; (2) disrupt immunity or the effectiveness of an immunization without clinical and/or agricultural justification; (3) confer to a biologi- cal agent or toxin, resistance to clinically and/or agriculturally useful prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against that agent or toxin, or facilitate their ability to evade detection methodologies; (4) increase the stability, transmissibility, or the ability to disseminate a biological agent or toxin; (5) alter the host range or tropism of a biological agent or toxin; (6) enhance the susceptibility of a host population; and (7) generate a novel pathogenic agent or toxin, or reconstitute an eradicated or extinct biological agent (NSABB 2006).3 2 This question was only asked of respondents who were currently conducting or manag - ing research. 3 These were the categories specified by the NSABB at the time of the survey.

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 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES Finally, while dual use research of concern is not a category currently used to trigger formal federal oversight, scientists in the United States who currently work with “select agents” are subject to significant govern- ment oversight aimed at enhancing biosecurity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulate the possession, use, and transfer of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a “severe threat to public health and safety,” and register all laboratories and other enti - ties in the United States involved in such activities. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) administers a comparable program for agents and toxins that could threaten plant and animal health.4 Experi- ence with select agents could affect one’s views on dual use research and potential oversight measures.5 The survey asked participants if they had ever worked with or managed research using select agents.6 The question- naire offered the following definition for select agents: “a microorganism (virus, bacterium, fungus, rickettsia) or toxin listed by the CDC and the USDA as harmful to public or agricultural health.”7 Results and Discussion Among those life scientists who indicated that they are currently engaged in research, 16 percent considered their research to have dual use potential. Only a few scientists who responded to the survey thought that their current research fit into one (or more) of the seven NSABB categories of experiments. One-quarter of the respondents had worked with select agents at some point in their careers, as noted in Table 3-1. Overall, 25 percent of the respondents said that they were working with or had previously worked with select agents. The committee thought that this seemed a rather high percentage given its understanding of those currently working with select agents. To give a sense of the scope of the current programs, there are approximately 400 high-containment facilities 4 More information on the CDC and APHIS programs can be found at http://www.cdc. gov/od/sap/. 5 Note that as described by the NSABB, the criteria for dual use research apply to a much broader category of life sciences research, although they may incorporate certain research projects that involve select agents, depending on the nature of the particular experiments and the potential for misuse of the results and/or technology (http://oba.od.nih.gov/bios - ecurity/nsabb_faq.html#NSABB_FAQ016). 6 Information about who is working with select agents is excluded from FOIA as it is seen as a potential security risk and there was concern that if the survey asked who was cur- rently working with select agents individuals would not have answered the question out of concern that this was trying to find information that should not be revealed. 7 This may have been interpreted as a broader definition of select agents, including those regulated agents based upon terrorism potential as well as potential harm to public or agricultural health.

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY TABLE 3-1 Number of Respondents Who Consider Their Research Dual Use, to Involve One of the Seven Categories of Experiments, or to Involve Select Agents Don’t Did Not Variable Yes No Know Answer Total 1,407a Current research is dual 215 (16%) 1,161 NA 31 use 1,407a Current research 82 (5%) 1,294 NA 31 involves one of the seven categories of experiments Have worked with select 458 (25%) 1,200 140 156 1,954 agents aQuestion only applies to those respondents who answered that they were currently conducting or managing research. Percentages are the proportion of those answering “Yes” among those who gave any answer. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. currently registered with the CDC to work with select agents, of which 37 percent are nonfederal, 20 percent are federal, 8 percent are commercial, 30 percent are academic, and 5 percent are private.8 The Federal Bureau of Investigation had cleared some 15,000 individuals to work in these facili - ties as of December 31, 2007.9 According to the CDC, about 12,000 people are actively working with select agents today.10 Using these figures for the numbers of individuals who have been cleared to work with select agents and are estimated to be actively work - ing with those agents today, it is reasonable to conclude that fewer than 10 percent of working life scientists in the United States could legally be working with select agents.11 Thus, the overall number of life scientists 8 The figures for 2007 are from the CDC Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response; similar figures appear in the report of the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism (2008:25). 9 CDC Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. This figure includes more than doctoral-level researchers; clearances are also required for laboratory technicians and other nonscientific personnel. 10 Data presented at the December 10, 2008 meeting of the NSABB by Robbin Weyant, Director, Division of Select Agents and Toxins, CDC, Department of Health and Human Services. 11As discussed in Chapter 2, although there is no complete list of the members of the population of life scientists in the United States available, in 2003 the National Science Foundation found 145,760 employed scientists with doctorates in agricultural, biological, and environmental life sciences (NSF 2006:6).

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 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES working with select agents requiring registration must be well under the 25 percent reported by respondents to the survey. There are several possible explanations for the high number of survey participants who reported working with select agents. First the question was worded so that individuals who had worked with agents on the select agent list prior to 2002, when registration was mandated, would be included. Moreover, it is possible that some respondents did not really know what was on the select agent list—the survey did not actually provide a full list of agents. In addition, clinical diagnostic laboratories are exempt from registration if cultures are destroyed or transferred to a registered laboratory within a 7-day period following diagnosis. Thus, clinical microbiologists and others working in laboratories may have worked with select agents but not have done research on those agents and thus not have been required to have select agent clearance. Also, those life scientists working with toxins on the select agent list below threshold concentrations do not need to be registered—many, perhaps even most, neurobiologists have worked with tetrodotoxin, botulinum toxin, and other agents in neurophysiology experiments.12 Finally, it is possible that the respondents represented a biased por- tion of the population included in the study, that is, that those individuals who currently or previously worked with select agents and performed biosecurity-related research were more likely to have answered the ques - tions or to have responded to the survey than those who considered the survey topic remote from their area of research interest. As noted in Table 3-2, some scientists selected each potential combi- nation resulting from the three types of research, making for a complex relationship among the three types of research that may have influenced responses to the survey regarding acceptability of oversight and actions that may have been taken in response to dual use concerns. The combinations above give rise to one particularly interesting result: One might have expected that anyone who answered “Yes” to working with the seven NSABB categories of experiments would also answer “Yes” to working with dual use research, but this was not the case. Dual use as it is defined in the questionnaire was clearly interpreted more broadly than the 7 categories of experiments specified by the NSABB. 12 Under the current regulations, entities that do not at any time have more than the fol - lowing aggregate amounts (in the purified form or in combinations of pure and impure forms) under the control of a principal investigator are excluded from requirements of the regulation: abrin (100 mg), botulinum neurotoxin (0.5 mg), Clostridium perfringens epsilon toxin (100 mg), conotoxins (100 mg), diacetoxyscirpenol (1,000 mg), ricin (100 mg), saxitoxin (100 mg), shiga-like ribosome inactivating proteins (100 mg), shigatoxin (100 mg), staphy - lococcal enterotoxin (5 mg), tetrodotoxin (100 mg), and T-2 (1,000 mg) (http://www.cdc. gov/od/sap/).

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY TABLE 3-2 Percentage of Respondents Working on Each Type of Research Works with Dual Works with Seven Work with Use Research Categories of Experiments Select Agents Percentage No No No 64 No No Yes 20 No Yes No 1 No Yes Yes 1 Yes No No 5 Yes No Yes 5 Yes Yes No 2 Yes Yes Yes 2 Total 100 Respondentsa 1,260 Did not answerb 694 Total 1,954 aOnly includes respondents who answered “Yes” or “No” to all three questions. bIncludes those who did not answer and logical skips. Interestingly, Table 3-3 shows that for the 82 respondents who reported that their research involved one of the seven categories of experiments (i.e., answered “Yes,” as indicated in Table 3-1), 30 percent of those did not consider their research to be dual use. This could be explained by the fact that the seven categories are intended as a way to identify research with dual use potential. Or it could indicate disagreement with the Fink com- mittee and NSABB categories as representing the full range of dual use research. Although experiments in these categories would be subject to an initial review under the draft recommendations of the NSABB, neither the NRC report nor the NSABB assumes that every experiment that met the criteria for inclusion in one of the seven categories would be considered dual use research (NRC 2004a; NSABB 2007). TABLE 3-3 Percentage of Respondents Whose Current Research Was Dual Use and Was One of Seven Categories of Experiments Research in One of the 7 Categories of Experiments? Research is Dual Use? Yes No Total Yes 4 11 15 No 2 83 85 Total 6 94 N = 1,376 NOTE: Only includes respondents who answered both questions. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff.

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0 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES TABLE 3-4 Number and Percentage of Respondents Whose Research Involves Dual Use, Seven Categories, or Select Agents, by Employment Sector Percentagea Employment Sector Respondents N A. Work inoles dual use research Industry 38 26 147 Academia 117 13 919 Government 25 31 81 Other 10 23 44 Total 190 16 1,191 B. Research inoles one or more of the seen categories of experiments Industry 9 6 147 Academia 53 6 919 Government 9 11 81 Other 1 2 44 Total 72 6 1,191 C. Work inoles or has inoled select agents Industry 53 26 205 Academia 260 27 959 Government 46 39 117 Other 19 29 65 Total 378 28 1,346 aPercentages calculated only for scientists who answered each pair of questions. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. These data also raise the question of what other areas of research, beyond the seven categories specified by the NSABB, the life scientists who took part in the survey felt were dual use research. Like the Fink committee and the NSABB, the committee recognized that the range of life sciences research that could raise dual use concern is potentially greater than that relating directly to microbial threats, which are the focus of both lists. (Another report, Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences (NRC 2006a), addresses this issue directly.) Both the Fink committee and the NSABB also focused on laboratory research. Analysis of the potential threat of a bioterror attack on the U.S. milk supply using botulinum toxin (Wein and Liu 2005), would not fit into any of the seven categories as defined by the Fink committee or the NSABB. Likewise, certain agricultural or pharmaceutical research may be dual use from the standpoint of formulation or dissemination, yet not involve modifying any of the biological properties of an agent in ways that are described by the NSABB or Fink report seven categories. Hence, other categories of research having dual use potential clearly

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY exist, and therefore the possibility that some survey participants con - sidered the theoretical potential of their research as dual use cannot be excluded. More exploration would be needed to understand the basis for the answers to these questions and more clarification will likely be needed on the part of the NSABB and others to define the meaning and scope of dual use research of concern. The next step was to disaggregate the scientists who worked with dual use research, the seven categories of experiments, and select agents to try to gain insight into whether there were scientists working in dif - ferent employment sectors who were most involved in this research. Table 3-4 lists the percentage of respondents for each employment sector who classify their current research as having dual use potential, one of the seven categories of experiments, or a select agent. In all three cases, government scientists were more likely to answer affirmatively. Academ - ics answered similarly to industry scientists except in the case of dual use research, where life scientists in academia were much less likely to report that they were doing dual use research compared with scientists in all other sectors. Summary of Key Results • Sixteen percent of life scientists who responded to the survey con - sidered their current research to have dual use potential. Five percent of these life scientists reported that they were currently working on research involving the seven categories of experiments outlined by the NSABB. Twenty-five percent of the respondents had worked with select agents at some point in their careers (Table 3-1). • Of the three types of research outlined in the preceding item, the relationship among the types is complex. Two percent of scientists who responded to the survey had conducted all three types of research: dual use, one of seven categories of experiments, and work with select agents. Sixty-four percent of the research of these life scientists involved none of these (Table 3-2). • Among the respondents who indicated that their research involved one of the seven categories of experiments, 30 percent of them did not consider their research to be dual use (Table 3-3). • Government scientists who responded to the survey were most likely to report that they have done research involving dual use, the seven categories of experiments, or select agents. Academic scientists who responded to the survey were less likely to say that they were doing research they considered to have dual use potential than any other type of life scientist who responded to the survey (Table 3-4).

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 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES SCIENTISTS’ VIEWS ON BIOTERRORISM Background The survey sought to ascertain the views of members of the life sci - ences community who participated in the survey about bioterrorism because the committee hypothesized that those attitudes, in particular perceptions of the risk of bioterrorism, might affect attitudes toward dual use research and what aspects of research are most likely to contribute to bioterrorism. Attitudes about bioterrorism can be assessed in many ways. For example, there are several possible reference points, including the perceived risk relative to other types of terrorist attacks or other domestic or international risks (e.g., natural disasters, pandemics, climate change, economic downturn, and political violence). Moreover, one can focus on the likelihood of an attack versus the severity of such an attack. Finally, different groups of people, for instance, the general public, the scientific community, or those with specific expertise in either terrorism or biologi - cal weapons, might have different views. Other surveys exemplify the different approaches that have been taken to assess views about bioterrorism. For example, a survey conducted in June 2002, shortly after September 11 and the subsequent anthrax let - ters, found that the public thought bioterrorism was a serious threat to the quality of life in the United States: 74 percent said “Very Serious,” 17 percent said “Somewhat Serious,” 4 percent said “Not Too Serious,” 1 percent said “Not Serious at All,” and 3 percent responded “Don’t Know/Refused” (Kaiser Family Foundation 2002). This indicated that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the public was quite concerned about the potential for another bioterrorism attack. A subsequent survey conducted by the Council for Excellence in Gov- ernment in February 2004 found that a bioterrorism attack was the most frequently cited by the public as the “type of possible terrorist attack that most worries me”: 48 percent said a bioterrorism attack, 37 percent said a chemical weapons attack, 23 percent said a nuclear attack, 21 percent said a suicide bomber, 13 percent said a plane hijacking, 9 percent said a cyberterrorism attack, and 4 percent said they were not sure (Council for Excellence in Government 2004:11).13 A third survey about the nature of the biological weapons threat, focusing on individuals involved in U.S. policy making and conducted during October–November, 2006 by the Center for Strategic and Interna - tional Studies (CSIS) reported in part: 13 Note that respondents could select multiple choices.

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY • “Biological weapons are a major threat that is viewed as somewhat increasing, greater than chemical weapons threat and, by a slim majority, a threat greater than or equal to the threat of nuclear weapons. • The top two reasons for an increasing bioweapons threat are the increasing availability of dual use know-how, technology, and equipment and the revolution in the life sciences creating technologies and know- how that makes biological weapons acquisition easier. • A major biological attack is somewhat unlikely within five years and somewhat likely or, according to over a quarter of those surveyed, very likely within a decade” (CSIS 2006). Finally, Foreign Policy Magazine, in cooperation with the Center for American Progress, conducted three surveys (one in 2006 and two in 2007) to create its Terrorism Index; approximately the same group of 100 foreign policy experts was surveyed each time.14 In 2006, after asking about the likelihood of a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11 or the attacks in London and Madrid within the next 5 to 10 years, the Foreign Policy Magazine survey asked, “Regardless of what you think about the timing of an attack, what two methods are most likely to be used in America by global terrorists?” Only 9 percent listed a biological weapons attack and 6 percent a nuclear weapon attack while 67 percent of respondents listed a suicide bombing attack and 66 percent listed an attack on major infrastructure. The February 2007 survey did not include questions related to biological terrorism and the September 2007 survey asked a different question from the 2006 survey: “In your view, what is the single greatest threat to U.S. national security?” Nuclear weapons and nuclear materials were considered the greatest threat (26 percent of respondents), followed by “Islamicism/Al Qaeda/Jihadists” at 20 percent. Biological terrorism was considered the single greatest threat by 2 percent of respondents. These previous surveys did not directly focus on ascertaining scien - tists’ opinions about bioterrorism or their views about the risks posed by advances in research. The current survey allows us to begin to examine whether life scientists, who are technical experts and who may be involved in the management of risk, share the same perceptions of risk as others who drive the formation of public policy. The information may also be useful input for instituting effective educational outreach to scientists. Results and Discussion The first set of questions in the survey focused on views about the likelihood of a bioterror attack. Three questions were posed: 14Available at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=221#2.

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0 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES TABLE 3-11 Correlation Between Respondents’ Views on the Role of Specific Institutions and of Other Organizations’ Responsibility Variable Funding Professional Institutions Grant Agencies Societies Should Proposals Should Should Provide Should Be Require Have Codes Variable Training Reviewed Attestation of Conduct Institutions should provide 1 training Grant proposals should be 0.4 1 reviewed (1,633) Funding agencies should require 0.44 0.47 1 attestation (1,633) (1,633) Professional societies should 0.19 0.17 0.27 1 have codes of conduct (1,503) (1,499) (1,499) NOTE: Number of respondents in parentheses. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. would have a negative impact on the likelihood that grant proposals would be funded. About a quarter of the respondents (23 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that funding agencies would be less likely to fund research proposals that acknowledged dual use potential, and 35 percent were neutral about the potential impact on funding decisions. A correlation was calculated to find out whether respondents who supported a requirement to attest to dual use potential on grant proposals also expect that such disclosure would not have a negative impact on the prospects for funding. In fact, no relationship was found (Spearman’s ρ = −0.02, n = 1,633). Support or opposition for disclosing dual use potential in a grant application seems to be unrelated to whether they think it would affect awarding of the grants. The committee also wondered if respondents who thought that one group (professional societies, one’s home institution, or funding agencies) should take some responsibility for addressing dual use issues thought the other groups should as well. Four questions were compared: support for professional society codes of conduct; home institution review of grant proposals; home institution training; and funding agency require - ments for applicant attestation. Spearman’s ρ was used and the results are shown in Table 3-11. There are positive correlations between the four pairs of variables. In general, those who support one type of institutional role also tend to support the others.

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0 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY Summary of Key Results • About 60 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that funding agencies should ask researchers to attest that they had considered the dual use potential of their work (Figure 3-9). • Forty-two percent of the respondents did not think that funding agencies would be less likely to fund grant proposals where the research had dual use potential; only 23 percent felt that there would be a nega- tive impact on funding research—the remainder were uncertain (Figure 3-10). • Respondents who supported a role for funding agencies in dual use research oversight also tended to support a role for other organiza - tions (i.e., home institutions and professional societies) (Table 3-11). Role for the Federal government As discussed in some detail in Chapter 1, one of the most contentious aspects of the proposals for oversight of dual use research is the role of the federal government. A number of models have been offered by which oversight might be carried out, with mixes of voluntary, regulatory, and statutory provisions. Discussion The survey asked whether more federal oversight of research was needed. As shown in Figure 3-11, the respondents did not support an increase in oversight by the federal government; this may be because some equated federal oversight with mandatory regulation, such as the select agent and export control regulations. Thirty-five percent disagreed and 11 percent strongly disagreed compared to 22 percent who agreed and only 4 percent who strongly agreed with increased federal oversight. It may be worth noting that 27 percent reported that they were neutral, which might suggest opportunities for discussion and debate among those not already committed. See Box 3-10. Correlation analyses were conducted to test for an association between support for greater federal oversight, individual responsibility, and roles for institutions and organizations. Note that these analyses test attitudes regarding increased federal oversight versus other types of responsibili - ties. They do not test individual versus institutional responsibilities. The results are shown in Table 3-12. The table indicates that respondents who saw a need for greater federal oversight also tended to agree that others (both scientists and institutions) should play a role but supporting an individual and institutional role in oversight of dual use research does not necessarily imply a role for the federal government.

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0 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES Strongly Agree, 4% Strongly Disagree, 11% Agree, 22% Disagree, 35% Neutral, 27% 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. Fig 3-11.eps 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 re- search 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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0 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY TABLE 3-12 Correlation Between Respondents’ Views Regarding Need for Greater Federal Oversight and Other Actors’ Responsibility Correlation Between Need for Greater Federal Spearman’s ρ Oversight and . . . N PIs should be responsible for initial evaluation 0.03 1,637 of their research Scientists should assure their institutions 0.30 1,637 Scientists should take an oath 0.35 1,637 PIs should train their staff, students, etc. 0.09 1,637 Institutions should provide mandatory training 0.36 1,637 Institutions should review grant proposals 0.38 1,633 Funding agencies should require attestation 0.38 1,633 SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. Different types of respondents might show different levels of support for greater federal oversight. Two methods for disaggregating respon - dents were used: first, the type of research they engaged in; and second, where they were employed. The results are summarized in Table 3-13; the complete results can be found in Appendix Table D-3. As the table shows, respondents who considered their research to be dual use or to involve one of the seven categories of experiments, or who work with select agents were slightly more likely to disagree that greater federal oversight of research was needed. There appeared to be no differ- ence among respondents on the basis of where they worked. In a separate survey addressing a somewhat different question, Profes- sor Victoria Sutton of the Texas Tech University School of Law conducted a national in 2008 survey of PIs and sub-PIs in NIH regional centers of excellence. Professor Sutton asked the researchers their opinions concern - ing the select agent rules (42 CFR §73), and the effectiveness of these rules in achieving their regulatory goal of national security and protecting pub- lic health. Of the 201 out of 509 who responded, 93.4 percent agreed that select agents should be regulated (Sutton 2009). These findings support the conclusion Sutton drew from an earlier regional study that found similar levels of agreement: “This tends to disprove some perceptions among policymakers that biodefense researchers oppose the regulations simply because they do not want to be regulated” (Sutton 2007).27 27 Note: The support for regulation of select agents does not reflect satisfaction with the current implementation of the select agent regulations, which Sutton and others have re - ported are burdensome (Council on Government Relations 2003) and problematic for the life sciences community (see Fischer 2006 for a full discussion of the impact of the current select agent regulations on universities and the life sciences community).

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0 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES TABLE 3-13 Average Rating, on a Scale of 1 to 5, of Respondents’ Agreement with Statement That Greater Federal Oversight Is Needed, by Type of Research and Employment Variable Average Works with dual use? Yes 2.5 No 2.7 Works with seven categories of experiments? Yes 2.5 No 2.7 Works with select agents? Yes 2.6 No 2.8 Employer type Industry 2.8 Academia 2.7 Government 2.8 Other 2.8 NOTE: On a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. Summary of Key Results • Only 26 percent of life scientists who responded to the survey felt that dual use research needs greater federal oversight (Figure 3-11). • Life scientists who responded to the survey did not see responsibil- ity as an “either-or” proposition: Those that supported greater responsibil- ity by other institutions also tended to support greater federal oversight. For example, those who agreed with a need for greater federal oversight also tended to agree that institutions should review grant proposals (Table 3-12). • Life scientists who responded to the survey who indicated that their research was dual use or that they were working with, or had worked with, select agents were slightly less likely to agree that greater federal oversight is needed. POLICy The final set of questions focused on what policy steps scientists would support to reduce the potential that knowledge, tools, or tech - niques from dual use research could pose a threat to national security. The survey participants were asked whether they would support seven possible measures:

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0 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY • Certification of researchers conducting dual use research; • Greater restrictions on access to specific biological agents or toxins; • Licensure of certain biological equipment that is commonly used in life sciences research; • Restrictions on disclosure of details about the research or its find - ings through personal communication; • Alteration or removal of certain experimental methods or findings prior to publication or presentation; • Restrictions on publication of findings based on dual use potential; and • Classification of research findings based on dual use potential. Discussion The respondents’ views are depicted in Figure 3-12, again displayed so that those measures with the most “Strongly Agree” responses appear Greater restrictions should be placed on access to specific biological agents or toxins Researchers should be certified Some biological equipment should be licensed Publication of findings based on dual use potential should be classified Personal communication should be restricted Certain experimental methods or findings should be altered or removed prior to publication or presentation Publication of findings based on dual use potential should be restricted 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree FIguRE 3-12 Respondents’ views on steps that should be taken to prevent the potential that knowledge, tools, or techniques from dual use research could pose Fig 3-12.eps a threat to national security. bitmap image NOTE: Based on 1,658 respondents. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data tabulations by staff. with type masked & replaced

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0 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES at the top. There was no clear consensus about proposed measures; none of the proposed measures was able to attract the support of a majority of respondents, although increasing restrictions on access to pathogens received almost 50 percent support. Some illustrative comments from respondents are provided in Box 3-11. Respondents might have different views regarding whether certain policies should be required based upon where they were employed or what type(s) of research they were performing. Two methods for disag - gregating respondents were used: first, the type of research they engaged in; and second, where they were employed. The results are summarized in Table 3-14; complete data can be found in Appendix Table D-4. As the table shows, respondents who conduct one of the three types of research appeared slightly more likely to disagree that many of the BOX 3-11 Illustrative Respondent Comments on Policy Measures “The federal government should monitor the potential threat of dual purpose results but should not interfere with the scientific process of publication and research.” “It’s hard enough to do research, and additional controls based on dual use fear- mongering will make it even harder.” “We should remember that several outbreaks of SARS and foot-and-mouth dis- ease are from labs working on these agents. It will not be surprising at all that acts of bioterrorism may eventually be committed by members of research labs where these agents are being studied. The likelihood of state-sponsored bioter- rorism, in my opinion, is low. In this sense, persons who conduct research of dual use biotechnology should be subjected to security clearance to safe-guard the appropriate use of the technology.” “Bioterrorism is a real and horrible threat to all of us. We all want to be safe. The challenge for all of us is to implement measures that will be meaningful and effec- tive—not “feel good” approaches that will inhibit research without making a positive impact on safety.” “The risks are real but I worry that the “solution” could be worse.” “If I had one sentence, it would include a caution that how we anticipate and prevent such a threat from occurring is being driven by reasoning rather than by fear.”

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TABLE 3-14 Average Rating, on a Scale of 1 to 5, of Respondents’ Agreement with Statement That a Particular Policy Is Needed, by Type of Policy and Respondent Restrictions Modification of Certification Restrictions Licensure of on Personal Manuscripts or Restrictions on Classification Variable of Researchers on Access Equipment Communication Presentations Publications of Findings Works with dual use? Yes 2.8 2.9 2.2 2.2 2.4 2.3 2.3 No 3.1 3.2 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.5 2.6 Works with seven categories of experiments? Yes 2.8 2.9 2.1 2.5 2.5 2.2 2.4 No 3.0 3.1 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.6 Works with select agents? Yes 3.0 3.0 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.6 No 3.1 3.3 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.7 Employer type Industry 3.0 3.4 2.5 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.9 Academia 3.0 3.1 2.3 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.6 Government 3.1 3.4 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.7 Other 3.0 3.2 2.6 2.4 2.5 2.4 2.8 NOTE: On a scale from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data analysis by staff. 

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 DUAL USE RESEARCH IN THE LIFE SCIENCES policies should be required. No difference was discerned regarding where the respondents were employed. The committee wondered if there might be an association between scientists’ responses to this question and their views about the role of different types of information in allowing individuals to create danger- ous biological agents. We hypothesized that relationships might exist between 1. Scientists’ support for altering or removing methods or findings prior to publication or presentation and positive answers to presentations providing sufficient information, 2. Scientists’ support for restrictions on publications and positive answers to scientific journal articles providing sufficient information, 3. Scientists’ support for restrictions of disclosure of details through personal communications and positive answers to personal communica - tions providing sufficient information. The results of a correlation analysis using Spearman’s ρ to test these relationships are provided in Table 3-15. As Table 3-15 shows, there is only a small positive relationship between supporting a restriction on a source of information and believing that the source is particularly useful to people with malevolent intentions. It is worth remembering that none of the policy options here, as opposed to some of the other measures discussed in earlier sections, attracted strong support, so it could be the TABLE 3-15 Correlation Between Respondents’ Views on Policy Options and Their Views About the Role of Different Types of Information in Allowing Individuals to Create Dangerous Biological Agents Source of Information Personal Support for Restriction Journals Presentations Communication Restrictions on disclosure of details 0.18 through personal communication (1,107) Alteration or removal of methods or 0.12 0.11 findings prior to publication or (1,266) (1,294) presentation Restrictions on publication of findings 0.16 (1,266) NOTE: The number of respondents is listed in parentheses. SOURCE: NRC/AAAS Survey; data analysis by staff.

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 RESULTS OF THE SURVEY scientists’ doubts about the measures themselves that explain the weak relationship. Summary of Key Results • None of the seven policy measures attracted a majority of support from survey respondents, although increasing restrictions on access to pathogens received almost 50 percent support (Figure 3-12). • Respondents who worked with dual use research often were less likely to favor the policies (Table 3-14). CONCLuDINg REMARKS This chapter has presented the results of our survey of a sample of AAAS members in the life sciences. The key results for each topic addressed in the survey have been presented. In a number of cases, additional statistical analyses were performed to explore possible expla - nations for the results and these are presented in the relevant sections. Some of the results support assumptions that the committee made about likely responses and some of the results were surprising to at least some of the committee members. The next chapter presents a synthesis of the key results from the survey as well as the committee’s conclusions about what they may mean for policies to reduce the risks that the results of research in the life sciences will be used for malign purposes. The chapter concludes with the committee’s recommendations for further research and actions related to outreach and education.

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