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Social Sciences

Biological Weapons, Security and the Silencing of Science

1 February 2004 - 30 April 2007

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Brian Rappert

Research partners: Professor Malcolm Dando (University of Bradford)

Funding awarded: £ 107,896

Sponsor(s): ESRC

Project webpage(s)

Biological Weapons, Security and the Silencing of Science

About the research

How do scientific and technological advances challenge national security? What measures might be undertaken by policy and scientific communities to address such challenges? How are perceptions of threats and necessary responses formed in relation to presumptions about the nature of science and technology? This project addresses these questions and others through examining attempts to integrate security considerations into the conduct of civilian bioscience research so as to reduce the possibility of research informing the production of biological weapons.

It examines these questions through a research agenda that combines historical and contemporary analysis through undertaking conceptual investigation and concrete engagement. Particular focus is given to professional ‘codes of conduct’ for those in the life sciences. In doing so, the project juxtaposes and mutually interrogates sociological and security studies approaches to norms, undertakes historical as well as contemporary analysis, and combines conceptual investigation with practical engagement.