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Dinner Speech - Silja Vöneky

Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Biotechnology, Biosecurity and the Global Order
Wann 08.01.2020
von 18:15 bis 20:00
Wo FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Seminarraum
Teilnehmer universitätsoffen / open to University members
Termin übernehmen vCal

Biotechnology, Biosecurity and the Global Order


In past decades, we have seen rapid advances in many areas of science, including biotechnology, which have improved our lives significantly. Nevertheless, areas of biotechnical progress may be linked to severe risks. An example of current dual use research of concern in the area of biotechnology is a research program with the aim to create genetically-modified viruses to infect staple food crops in fields using insects as a dispersion system (so-called Insect Allies Program). Silja Vöneky argued in an article published at Science, together with co-authors from different fields, that the stated agricultural benefits of this research seem to be hardly plausible. The FRIAS Dinner Speech shall give an opportunity to discuss whether we have sufficient and robust international rules, as esp. the Biological Weapons Convention, to govern this kind of research and to enhance biosecurity in a legitimate and effective way, and whether we can learn from a biosecurity governance regime how to frame dual use research of concern with regard to other disruptive technologies, as Artificial Intelligence.


Cf. G. Reeves, S. Voeneky, et al, Agricultural research, or a new bioweapons system?, Science 5 October 2018, Vol. 362 Issue 6410, p 35 et seq.