Dual use and responsible life science research – A bioethical approach
Much of the life science research conducted today is of ‘dual-use' nature, which means that it can have both peaceful (civil) and military applications. The current perception of a bio-terrorist threat (due to recent terrorist events) and the subsequent security countermeasures, demands the scientific community to take responsibility and assist in protecting biological material and knowledge of concern.
This PhD project examined the responsibility of life science researchers in circumventing proliferation of biological material, technology and knowledge to actors with malicious intents. Central questions included; if life science researchers have a responsibility to minimize the risk of proliferation and, if so, what does that responsibility entail, what is the response to proposed obligations among life science researchers, and how is security consciousness to be implemented in life science research?
Kuhlau F, Responsible Conduct in Dual Use Research: Towards an Ethic of Deliberation in the Life Sciences, Doctoral dissertation, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013
Kuhlau F, Evers K, Eriksson S and Höglund AT, Applied Biosafety: Ethical competence in dual use life science research, Journal of the American Biological Safety Association, 2012;17(3):120-127.
Kuhlau F, Hart J, Biosecurity, in: Burgess J P (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of New Security Studie, Routledge, 2010
Kuhlau F, Höglund AT, Evers K, Eriksson S, A precautionary principle for dual use research in the life sciences, Bioethics, 2011;25:1-8
Kuhlau F, Eriksson S, Evers K, Höglund AT, Taking Due Care: Moral obligations in dual use research, Bioethics, 2008:22(9):477-487.
Frida Kuhlau defended her thesis on dual use and responsible life science research in March 2013. She started her PhD studies in bioethics in 2007. She holds a degree in Political Science. Before starting her PhD studies she worked at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on chemical and biological warfare (2001-2007). Her thesis focus was how means and methods in bioethics can be used to prevent proliferation of biological weapons.
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