talks

This is not your father’s biosecurity: Experiments in novel security governance at the edge of innovation

I spent this week in Fukuoka, Japan at the World Social Science Forum, a gathering of national and international science academies and other research and professional bodies. At the invitation of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), I gave a talk on several experiments in biosecurity governance that are going on: the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, the FBI’s Biological Countermeasures Unit, and various efforts around the governance of gene drives.… Read More »This is not your father’s biosecurity: Experiments in novel security governance at the edge of innovation

Constructing New Security Concerns in the Life Sciences

The idea that there is a set truth of the world that scientists must identify, codify, and disseminate in full is literally set in stone at the National Academies. It may come as a surprise, then that the Academies have also spent decades trying to figure out how to restrict or otherwise prevent certain knowledge to do with security concerns from spreading. After my Fall 2016 article on Biosecurity Governance… Read More »Constructing New Security Concerns in the Life Sciences

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 built on a set of assumptions about the structure of knowledge and the relationship between… Read More »Words of Caution on Making Objects of Security Concern

Presentation to the BWC Meeting of Experts Side Event

Every year, the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention has a Meeting of Experts to share updates on developments relevant to the Convention. This year, several colleagues and I presented on work we have been doing as part of the ESRC/AHRC/DSTL funded grant on The Formulation and Non-formulation of Security Concerns: Preventing the Destructive Application of the Life Sciences. I presented on ways to “‘Take Care’ of Security in Synthetic Biology,” which… Read More »Presentation to the BWC Meeting of Experts Side Event

California trip

I recently got back from a trip to California, where I met a few people at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society, and gave a talk at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, part of the Monterey Institute for International Studies. The talk, I think, went quite well. I outlined how the Wassenaar Arrangement, and export controls generally, are based on three assumptions:… Read More »California trip