Biosecurity and Open-Source Biology: The Promise and Peril of Distributed Synthetic Biological Technologies

TitleBiosecurity and Open-Source Biology: The Promise and Peril of Distributed Synthetic Biological Technologies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsEvans, N, Selgelid, M
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
KeywordsBiocrime , Biological , Biosecurity , BIOTECHNOLOGY , BIOTERRORISM , Deskilling , Dual-use , Open , openness
AbstractIn this article, we raise ethical concerns about the potential misuse of open-source biology (OSB): biological research and development that progresses through an organisational model of radical openness, deskilling, and innovation. We compare this organisational structure to that of the open-source software model, and detail salient ethical implications of this model. We demonstrate that OSB, in virtue of its commitment to openness, may be resistant to governance attempts. 
NotesEvans, Nicholas 1; Email Address: Selgelid, Michael 2; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Suite 320, 3401 Market Street Philadelphia 19104 USA 2: Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne 3800 Australia; Source Info: Aug2015, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p1065; Subject Term: BIOSECURITY; Subject Term: BIOLOGICAL research; Subject Term: BIOTECHNOLOGY ethics; Subject Term: OPEN source software; Subject Term: BIOTERRORISM; Subject Term: DESKILLING (Labor); Author-Supplied Keyword: Biocrime; Author-Supplied Keyword: Biotechnology; Author-Supplied Keyword: Bioterrorism; Author-Supplied Keyword: Deskilling; Author-Supplied Keyword: Dual-use; Author-Supplied Keyword: Open source; Author-Supplied Keyword: Openness; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); Number of Pages: 19p; Document Type: Article