Workshop Report/Summary

Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Summary of an International Workshop: October 31 to November 3, 2010, Beijing, China (2011)

The potential of recent advances in science and technology to affect the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was discussed at a recent workshop held at the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The meeting was convened by IAP -- the Global Network of Science Academies, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the International Union of Microbiological Societies, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. National Research Council. Participants discussed developments that could aid in the production of new or more deadly biological weapons, or lower the barriers for bioterrorism, and learned about advances in detection methods, diagnostics, therapeutics, or vaccines that could be used to prevent or respond to biological attacks. Almost 80 scientists and policy makers from 28 countries and several international organizations gathered at the workshop. In addition to surveying the current state of the science, workshop participants discussed the potential implications for the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, providing independent input from the scientific community ahead of the treaty's 7th review conference in 2011. This summary provides a synopsis of the workshop plenary sessions. The workshop also served to inform an upcoming National Research Council report, which discusses the trends and implications of developments in science and technology.