By Brian Rappert (auth.)
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Additional info for Biotechnology, Security and the Search for Limits: An Inquiry into Research and Methods
This chapter further considers the nature of ‘science’ to develop a fuller understanding of the security implications of research and possible responses. In addressing these issues it continues the approach adopted so far of considering security issues while attending to what is at stake in the way analysis into this topic is undertaken. It does so by extending many of the initial points raised in Chapter 1 regarding the choices and challenges in social analysis. In that chapter, questions were raised about the distinctiveness and inter-relation of so-called ‘constructivist’ and ‘objectivist’ studies of social problems.
19 Its recommendations for action were limited to fairly long-established concerns about strengthening counter-proliferation measures. 21 In examining the contingent processes whereby threats from research are identified as a problem that needs addressing, this section outlines key emerging issues between 9/11 and the publication of the Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism report. As noted previously, much of the initial policy attention in the United States after 9/11 and the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 centered on strengthening the physical containment of pathogens and the vetting of personnel working with dangerous ‘select’ agents.
As noted previously, much of the initial policy attention in the United States after 9/11 and the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 centered on strengthening the physical containment of pathogens and the vetting of personnel working with dangerous ‘select’ agents. 23 For instance, in October, Nature ran a feature article called ‘The Bugs of War’, outlining a wide ranging set of possibilities for how knowledge and techniques in microbiology and genetic engineering could aid in the development of sophisticated bioweapons.