Reviews of Developments in Science and Technology
The field of biological science is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. In order to understand how scientific advances affect the implementation of the BWC, States Parties must stay appraised by frequently monitoring and discussing relevant developments.
Sixth Review Conference (2006)
Meeting of Experts 2008
BWC/MSP/2008/MX/INF.3 Oversight of Science - Submitted by the Implementation Support Unit
This background document covers: the need for oversight; calls for oversight; problems with oversight; existing proposals for oversight; different approaches to oversight; as well as requirements for effective oversight.
Meeting of States Parties 2008
Meeting of States Parties 2009
Meeting of States Parties 2010
BWC/MSP/2010/INF.1 Background information on scientific and technological developments that may be relevant to the Convention: report on an international workshop in Beijing
Seventh Review Conference (2011)
Meeting of Experts 2012
Meeting of Experts 2013
In July 2013, SB6.0 - the big international synthetic biology meeting - takes place in London, United Kingdom. This will provide detailed information as to the state of the art in this field. An outreach event on the margins of the scientific conference will encourage leading scientists to contribute to the current work programme of the BWC.
In February 2013, the World Health Organization convened and international workshop on Dual Use Research of Concern: Current Issues and Innovative Solutions. The BWC ISU compiled a background document detailing recent work under the Convention relevant to the topic. A summary of this document was circulated at the meeting.
For a comprehensive review of advances in science and technology of potential relevance to the Convention prepared by the ISU, please see this summary. The most recent review includes:
- Details of general trends, such as convergence between fields and disciplines, increasing understandings of the life sciences, progress in biotechnology, global distribution of capacity, open science, as well as media, perceptions and society
- Developments with potential detrimental consequences, such as a series of specific research projects involving increasing the virulence or transmissibility of pathogens as well as antibiotic resistance mechanisms, and possible weapons applications, including: enhancing toxicity, transmission, infectivity, virulence and pathogenicity; synthesizing an agent; circumventing control mechanisms; as well as possibilities offered by neurobiology
- Developments with potential beneficial consequences, including for detection, diagnosis, prevention and prophylaxis, therapeutics, and response capacity
- Advances in enabling technologies, such as improved characterization of biological systems and networks, improved ability to engineer and manipulate biological systems and networks, gathering and manipulating biological information, and converting biological information into digital data and back