the roles and responsibilities of the international scientific community in fostering policies to address these risks, in order to promote both continuing scientific progress and greater international security. More specifically, the meeting addressed the challenges and opportunities to:

  • Build a culture of responsibility within the science community regarding biosecurity, through education and awareness raising, codes of conduct, and other mechanisms;

  • Identify standards and practices for research oversight from the review of proposals through the conduct of research, publication and communication, and the range of approaches to achieving their widespread adoption;

  • Provide scientific advice to governments and international organizations and develop the role of the science community in global governance.

The participants came from all over the world because the life sciences are a genuinely global enterprise, and thus any policies must include international as well as national measures.

As described later in this chapter, the Forum in Budapest was the second international meeting organized by international scientific bodies to address these issues. The first International Forum was held in Como, Italy, in March 2005.3 The Forum is thus part of a broader process of engagement by the scientific and policy communities in considering biosecurity issues.

The structure of the Forum was intended to encourage discussion and to identify common ground where possible. Working groups were organized to run through the course of the Forum, so that ideas could percolate and develop. These groups, organized to reflect each of the Forum’s goals, became the heart of the meeting. On the final morning, plenary sessions offered the opportunity to report back and to discuss the results of the working groups.

The 2005 Forum in Como did not produce a final report, but this time the organizers wanted a written record. The sponsoring organizations agreed that the 2nd Forum would not produce recommendations, and that the final report would be only a summary of what occurred during the meeting. However, each of the working groups held during the Forum was encouraged to make suggestions for next steps and needed actions. These were reported to and discussed in the final plenary, and

3

 The agenda, list of participants, and copies of the presentations from this Forum can be found at: http://www7.nationalacademies.org/biso/Biosecurity_Forum.html. Accessed on December 10, 2008.



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