Understanding Threats to Scientific Openness

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Science  12 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5652, pp. 1898
DOI: 10.1126/science.1092493

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The potential usefulness of scientific know-how for both beneficial and malevolent purposes has raised increasingly apparent public concerns that could challenge the tradition of openness in the scientific community. Insight from the national security community could alleviate this tension by helping scientists ensure that any steps taken are proportionate to existing and emerging threats. The authors of this Policy Forum recommend closer interaction between appropriate representatives from the scientific and national security communities because of its potential to enhance national biodefense capabilities without compromising scientific discovery.