News of the WeekBIOTERRORISM

A Call for Restraint on Biological Data

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Science  02 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5582, pp. 749-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5582.749

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Two events last week are prompting a public debate about whether unclassified research that might conceivably help bioterrorists should be openly published. A congressional resolution called on journals, scientists, and funding agencies to take more care about releasing such information, and, separately, the American Society for Microbiology sent a letter to the National Academy of Sciences 22 July requesting a meeting of biomedical publishers to discuss whether and how to publish research results that might be co-opted by terrorists.