neuroscience research) can be of dual use concern. In their individual comments, a number of respondents stressed the difficulties of defining dual use, as did participants in the focus groups used to develop the survey. Clearly a better understanding of the scope of dual use research of real concern would help any educational or outreach activities aimed at raising the awareness of life scientists so that appropriate actions can be taken.

Based on the survey results and its own analysis, the committee believes that there is support for mandatory education and training about dual use issues, most likely as part of ethics and responsible conduct of research training.


The committee believes that the survey raises several hypotheses that merit further research about the views of life scientists about oversight policies and education and outreach efforts to address concerns about dual use issues in the life sciences. In particular, based on the survey results and its own deliberations, the committee offers the following recommendations:

Oversight, Education, and Outreach

  1. Explore how to continue and to expand the dialogue within the life sciences community about dual use research of concern.

  2. Explore ways to provide guidance to the life sciences community about appropriate actions that can be taken to protect against the misuse of dual use research.

  3. Seek to better define the scope of knowledge in the life sciences that may be at greatest risk for misuse and to provide the life sciences community with criteria for recognizing dual use research of concern.

  4. Encourage journals that have biosecurity policies or plan to adopt them in the future and the professional and scientific societies that have or plan to develop codes of conduct to communicate those policies more effectively.

Further Research

  1. Examine the effectiveness of existing educational programs and how they can be enhanced and focused.

  2. Seek to extend educational and awareness-raising efforts being conducted in the United States to the broad international scientific community.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement