Synthetic biology, from its early stages of development, has had an explicit focus on biosafety and biosecurity concerns. These concerns are being identified and addressed in different ways, including strategies that ‘take care of’ them by getting them off the mind, and approaches that attend to and ‘care for’ concerns in more open-ended ways. In this chapter, we look at the shaping of concerns and non-concerns relating to biosafety and… Read More »Book chapter on ‘Taking Care’ in synthetic biology
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. â€œBook Review: Vulnerability in Technological Cultures: New Directions in Research and Governance. Edited by Anique Hommels, Jessica Mesman and Wiebe E. Bijker.â€Â Science and Public Policy. 17 February 2015.
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 innovation now when potentially catastrophic outcomes might result from choosing one pathway over another. If… Read More »What’s the Matter with Biosecurity?
In a recent issue of Nature, there was a special section on moving ‘Beyond Divisions’ in building the future of synthetic biology. While I and many of my colleagues support many ways of moving beyond many types of divisions, we thought the initial ‘Worldview‘ piece byÂ Volker ter Meulen required a concerted reply, as it missed the point of much of our work. 20 colleagues (listed below) and I sent… Read More »Letter to the Editor of Nature on Synthetic Biology
My report with the Flemish Peace Institute on Multilateral Export Control List Modification Processes is now published. The first part of the introduction is below. An export control system is one of a range of mechanisms that states can employ to govern the security concerns tied to goods and technologyI. It is a tool that has been used by states as long as states have existed, in conjunction with sanctions,… Read More »Report on Multilateral Export Control List Modification Processes Published
Now available in the latest issue of Mineva: Export Controls and the Tensions Between Academic Freedom and National Security Samuel A. W. Evans,Â Walter D. ValdiviaÂ (May 2012) Abstract: In the U.S.A., advocates of academic freedomâ€”the ability to pursue research unencumbered by government controlsâ€”have long found sparring partners in government officials who regulate technology trade. From concern over classified research in the 1950s, to the expansion of export controls to cover trade… Read More »New Paper: Export Controls and the Tensions Between Academic Freedom and National Security
It is my pleasure to finally announce that my thesis has been published on the Oxford Research Archive This is a redacted version of my thesis. The redactions were made in line with requests from the British Government, and include primarily a description of the location of the Wassenaar Secretariat, the Arrangement’s information system, and the reproduction in Appendix G of the Guidelines for the Drafting of Lists. The redactions… Read More »Thesis published on the Oxford Research Archive