Information Hazards in Biotechnology

Gregory Lewis, Piers Millett, Anders Sandberg, Andrew Snyder-Beattie, Gigi Gronvall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

With the advance of biotechnology, biological information, rather than biological materials, is increasingly the object of principal security concern. We argue that both in theory and in practice, existing security approaches in biology are poorly suited to manage hazardous biological information, and use the cases of Mousepox, H5N1 gain of function, and Botulinum toxin H to highlight these ongoing challenges. We suggest that mitigation of these hazards can be improved if one can: (1) anticipate hazard potential before scientific work is performed; (2) consider how much the new information would likely help both good and bad actors; and (3) aim to disclose information in the manner that maximally disadvantages bad actors versus good ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-981
Number of pages7
JournalRisk Analysis
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • Biotechnology
  • dual-use research of concern
  • information hazards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Information Hazards in Biotechnology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this