Biosecurity experts stress value of biosecurity education in preventing misuse of life sciences

The Biological Security Research Centre will address the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention to raise awareness of chemical and biological security issues in scientific practice.

Date: 6 April 2022

Biosecurity experts are calling for global action to implement the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists, which were published in 2021.

The Guidelines seek to support a culture of responsibility to “prevent misuse of bioscience research without hindering beneficial outcomes, in accordance with the articles and norms of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and in advancement of progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals”. The Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines specifically refer to the value of education and training about the implications of biological research. 

The Biological Security Research Centre (BSRC) at London Metropolitan University is set to address the BTWC, which takes place from 4-11 April 2022 in Geneva, to encourage the adoption of these Guidelines.

Representatives of the BSRC said, “We encourage States Parties to endorse the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines at the Ninth Review Conference of the BTWC and consider practical arrangements to facilitate the exchange of experience, lessons learned, and good practices on fostering biosecurity education, awareness, and outreach during the Intersessional Programme in 2023-2025.”

In 2021, London Metropolitan University published an educational cartoon – “Strengthening the web of prevention against chemical and biological weapons”– to raise awareness of chemical and biological security issues as these relate to scientific practice.

This resource will be presented during a virtual side event at the BTWC Ninth Preparatory Committee on 6 April 2022. 

Professor Lijun Shang, the Director of BSRC said, “We hope to promote biological security education both nationally and internationally which will impact the successful implementation of the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines.”