"Ferret Flu Experiments, Ethics and the Dual Use Problem in the Biological Sciences" Lecture and Panel Discussion

  • 17 May 2012
  • 5:30 PM
  • 'The Chapel', Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 15 Blackall Street, Barton, ACT
Title: "Ferret Flu Experiments, Ethics and the Dual Use Problem in the Biological Sciences" Lecture and Panel Discussion

CSU's CAPPE (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics) and ACC&C (Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture).

Abstract:
Scientists in the Netherlands and the US have recently created strains of H5N1 influenza–i.e., bird flu--that are easily transmissible among ferrets. In light of dangers that the techniques used in the ferret research would enable production of strains of H5N1 that are transmissible in humans, recent high profile international debate has focused on the question of whether the ferret flu research details should be censored.
These ferret flu experiments provide a paradigm example of "dual-use" life science research. Other examples include the genetic engineering of a superstrain of mousepox, the artificial synthesis polio, and the reconstruction of the 1918 flu virus.
The very same research that might be used for good can also be used for malevolent purposes. There is a demonstrable need to analyse the dual use problem in the biological sciences and formulate evidence-based, ethically sustainable policy. This seminar contributes to meeting this need by providing a lecture followed by panel discussion on the ferret flu experiments, the dual use problem in the biological sciences and potential regulatory responses.


This event will consist of a lecture, by

Prof. Seumas Miller (Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (CAPPE), an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre at Charles Sturt University (Canberra) and 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology at Delft University of Technology in The Hague)
Dr. Michael Selgelid, (Director - Centre for Human Bioethics at Monash University)

followed by a panel discussion, featuring the panelists

Professor Ian Ramshaw (Director – John Curtin School of Medical Research, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, The Australian National University)
Dr. Gary Lum (Assistant Secretary - Health Emergency Management Branch, Office of Health Protection, Department of Health and Ageing)
Professor Roger Bradbury (Senior Analyst - Science, Technology & Environment, Office of National Assessments)

For up-to-date information, please check the CAPPE website closer to the date. 
www.cappe.edu.au

©Australasian Association of Philosophy
ACN 152 892 272
ABN 29
152 892 272
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