Words of Caution on Making Objects of Security Concern

As we continually develop new areas of technology, how do we think about how that technology might cause harm? In this talk, I draw out some lessons that can be learned from how Americans have built scientific cultures and governance mechanisms for constructing and governing security concerns in the life sciences. These cultures and mechanisms are…

Biosecurity Governance for the Real World

Current efforts to limit the dissemination of dual-use biological research results are rooted in simplistic understandings of how such knowledge becomes dangerous. I argue in an article appearing in the Fall 2016 Issues in Science and Technology that it’s time for a new approach. Read the full preprint. With little fanfare, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and…

Book Review: Vulnerability in Technological Cultures

This edited volume explores the concept of vulnerability as a useful analytic lens for studying big issues in technological cultures, providing a more compassionate and encompassing framing of issues than traditional risk analyses. “Book Review: Vulnerability in Technological Cultures: New Directions in Research and Governance. Edited by Anique Hommels, Jessica Mesman and Wiebe E. Bijker.” Science…

What’s the Matter with Biosecurity?

In this brief Perspective in the Journal of Responsible Innovation, I discuss the different conceptions of security that are being debated over within the biology, and specifically the synthetic biology, community. I argue that understanding who is constructing security concerns, and how, should be an active area of research, as should be how to govern…