On July 15, 2008, the Federal government will be sponsoring a public consultation to engage the scientific community and research organizations in a discussion of a framework for the oversight of dual use research proposed by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). The proposed framework, which has been formally submitted by the Board to the Federal government for its consideration, outlines key features of oversight of dual use research, including criterion for identifying dual use research of concern, local oversight, evaluation and risk assessment of research with dual use potential, responsible communication of research with dual use potential, considerations in developing codes of conduct, and the need for outreach and education. The proposed framework also outlines the roles and responsibilities of key individuals and institutions in managing dual use research, including researchers, research institutions, institutional review entities, the NSABB, and the Federal government.
The public consultation meeting will take place from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Natcher Conference Center (Building 45) on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus in Bethesda, Maryland (Natcher Center – NIH Visitor Information). The meeting will focus on a set of questions, included in Appendix 2 of the NSABB’s proposed oversight framework, on which the government would specifically like to solicit comment. These questions concern such matters as the clarity of the criterion proposed by the Board for identifying dual use research of concern; institutional oversight responsibilities, including how to balance appropriate controls with academic freedom and scientific exchange; and approaches to education to enhance awareness of the issue.
The meeting will be conducted as a series of panels where participants will be asked to discuss particular topics of interest to the government. Each panel will include ample time for in-depth discussion of the issues surrounding each topic.
The meeting is open to the public and free of charge. Due to limited space, pre-registration is encouraged. To register, please connect to: http://www.capconcorp.com/meeting/lifesciences2008/ . Notice of this meeting will also be published in the Federal Register. Any groups or individuals who cannot attend the meeting are encouraged to submit in advance of the meeting written comments on the questions found in Appendix 2 of the NSABB’s report to: [email protected] . Please note that this meeting will not be Web cast.
More information about the NSABB is available at http://www.biosecurityboard.gov/. Questions about this meeting can be addressed to Allan C. Shipp, Director of Outreach, NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities, 301-435-2152 or [email protected].