Colloquium: Teaching biosecurity & dual use to life sciences students

This Landau Network Centro Volta and University of Bradford project is aimed to: conducting a gap & need analysis of considerations on Biosecurity and dual use issues in existing life science curricula in European Universities; analyzing viability and designing implementation strategies for introducing biosecurity and dual use issues in life science academic curricula; drafting contents of educational materials on biosecurity and dual use issues for life science students, as module resource for academic courses; identifying potential test sites though networking with local academic community and teachers; and conducting implementation tests of the proposed materials with local academic community, with eventual publication of tested educational materials. Besides presenting the results of the first phases of the project (2008-2009), we look forward to presenting and discussing proposed teaching materials (“module resource”), in order to collect feedbacks, comments and suggestions on contents, language and ways to deliver to students. A further aim is to discuss possibilities of implementation tests of the teaching materials in existing academic curricula, also identifying how should features be tailored, depending on field (for example, biology or biotechnology) or degree (from undergraduate to postgraduate), course where the module is used (bioethics or other). A special focus of discussion should be given to a core part of the teaching material resource, dealing with the nexus ethics-security. Is there a dual use dilemma, and what are the ethical implications? Does bioethics address Biosecurity and dual use problems, and how? Should there be a regulation for life sciences basing on security concerns and ethical considerations, and what would be the consequences on scientific research? What universities can do at this regard?

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