ABSTRACT The classical dual use problem—the potential for harmful as well as beneficial application of scientific findings—has become more immediate in biotechnology than in most other fields of science. Terrorist misuse of the information on the development of pathogenic organisms can lead to catastrophic outcomes. Therefore, particular in biosciences researchers are faced with the dilemma to find a proper balance between the right to know and the dangers of knowing. In this paper this dilemma is illustrated by the research on the influenza A virus subtype H5N1, commonly known as “bird flu”. The pros and cons of the full publication on the development of a dangerous airborne type are discussed.
Cite this paper
nullP. Drenth, "Dual Use and Biosecurity: the Case of the Avian Flu H5N1," Open Journal of Applied Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 123-127. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2012.23017.
 Drenth, P.J.D. (1999), Science: where do we draw the line? European Review, 7, 239-246.
 National Research Council (2004), Biotechnology research in an age of terrorism. Washington, NA Press.
 National Research Council (2010), Understanding biosecurity; protecting against the misuse of science in today’s world. Washington, NA Press.
 Inter Academy Panel (2005), IAP statement on biosecurity. Trieste: TWAS.
 KNAW (2007), A Code of Conduct for Biosecurity. Amsterdam: email@example.com
 National Research Council (2009), Understanding biosecurity; protecting against the misuse of science in today’s world. Washington: NRC.
 Franz, D.R. (2012), The role of leadership and culture within the laboratory. In: T. Mayer & N. Steneck (Eds), Promoting research integrity in a global environment. Singapore: World Science Publishing Co. pp. 365-368.
 Davis, F.D. (2012), Dual-use research, codes of conduct, and the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. In: T. Mayer & N. Steneck (Eds), Promoting research integrity in a global environment. Singapore; World Science Publishing Co, pp. 369-374.
 Epstein, G.L. (2012), Governance options for dual use research. In: T. Mayer & N. Steneck (Eds), Promoting research integrity in a global environment. Singapore: World Science Publishing Co. pp. 391-364.
 Sta.Ana, J.J., Frankel, M.S. & Berger, K.M. (2009), Educating scientists about dual use, Science, 326, p. 1193.
 Fouchier, R.A.M., Herfst, S., & Osterhaus, A.D.M.E. (2012), Restricted data on influenza H5N1 virus transmission, Scienc express, 19-01-2012.
 Palese, P. (2012), Don’t censor life-saving science, Nature, 11-01-1912.