B Conference entitled “Dual use of innovative technologies” in Poznań

16 May 2014

The meeting was organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic
of Poland and co-organized by: Polish Academy of Sciences, Poznań University of Economics, Office of Agricultural Affairs of the American Embassy in Warsaw, Biosecurity Working Group of IAP - the Global Network of Science Academies, Committee of Biotechnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) and Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the PAS.

The subject matter of the conference comprised bio-safety problems in agriculture, medicine, food and ecology - topics which are the object of interest of key decision makers, scientists, academia as well as the general public. The following aspects were discussed in detail during
the meeting: international legislation procedures related to the potential dual use of innovative technologies (1925 Geneva Protocol, Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, UN Security Council Resolution 1540); the challenges connected
with the use and misuse of new technologies and potential risk for national and international security; the lack of awareness among scientists and the lack of coordination of actions aiming at including ‘’dual use education’’ as a part of training for life scientists (lack of access to effective teaching materials in languages other than English). The key recommendation of the conference is: ‘’An introduction to dual use issues should be a part of education of every life scientist’’
(Jo Husbands in her lecture).

The conference was a significant step in the process of education and raising awareness (among the academic and scientific communities) of the importance of the dual use dilemma today when a threat of terrorism is a real danger facing the society. The event was attended by many students and PhD students what holds promise for a wide dissemination of its outcomes.