The Argument for Oversight
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The fundamental problem of managing biotechnology arises from two circumstances. First, it is evident that the momentum of discovery in molecular biology in particular is simultaneously enabling therapeutic and destructive applications of extraordinary potential consequence. But, second, no one is able to judge with assurance the exact character or extent of those consequences. That situation is likely to require competent but independent oversight of those areas of research that inherently pose extreme danger. An outline of an appropriate oversight arrangement will be presented.
Presentation in the Panel "Biosecurity Challenges in the Post 9-11 World" at American Association for the Advancement of Science, Annual Meeting, St. Louis