Fresh Perspectives on Pressing Small Arms Issues

In the latest issue of the Federation of American Scientists’ Public Interest Report, analysts from three continents provide new insights into arms trafficking in Africa, Venezuela’s small arms build-up, and the UN Small Arms Review Conference. Links to these articles, along with an issue overview by FAS analyst Matt Schroeder and a summary of the new book, The Small Arms Trade, are included below.

“Where Have All the Antonovs Gone? The Illicit Small Arms Trade in Africa” by James Bevan, Researcher, Small Arms Survey (Geneva)

“A Recurrent Latin American Nightmare: Venezuela and the Challenge of Controlling State Ammunition Stockpiles” by Pablo Dreyfus, Research Coordinator, Small Arms Control Project, Viva Rio (Rio de Janeiro).

“United Nations Action on Small Arms: Moving Forward from Failure” by Rachel Stohl, Senior Analyst, Center for Defense Information (Washington DC)

“Global Approach Needed to Stem the Trade of Illicit Small Arms,” by Matt Schroeder, Manager of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project, Federation of American Scientists.

“Book Summary: The Small Arms Trade”

Complete a biosecurity education survey and enter to win an iPod nano!!!

The Federation of American Scientists Biosecurity Project has prepared a brief online survey to collect feedback on our “Case Studies in Dual-use Biological Research.” To thank participants for completing the survey, we will enter them into a drawing for an 8GB iPod nano. Click here to go to the case studies or here to go directly to the survey. The survey is open now through May 31, 2007.

If you have any colleagues, students or friends involved in biological research or biosecurity, please let them know about the Case Studies and the survey. Thank you for your feedback!

The first four case studies include an introduction to biosecurity, the poliovirus synthesis experiments conducted in Eckard Wimmer’s laboratory at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; the porous particle development work of David Edwards at Harvard University; and the mousepox experiments conducted by two Australian researchers, Ron Jackson and Ian Ramshaw.

We include in-depth interviews with the researchers to document their personal experiences and present the details of their experiments, the implications for biosecurity, and the aftermath of publication. We also include commentary and analysis, accounts of the public reaction, and a discussion of scientist’s roles and responsibilities. The ultimate purpose of the case studies is to vividly illustrate the challenge and ethical complexities of conducting biology research in “an era of bioterrorism,” and to illustrate how government, the public, the scientific community, and law enforcement have interacted in the past and need to cooperate in the future.