Killing `Without the Distressing Preliminaries': Scientists' Defence of the British Biological Warfare Programme
- Cite this article as:
- Balmer, B. Minerva (2002) 40: 57. doi:10.1023/A:1015009613250
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This article presents historical cases in which Britishscientists, principally scientific advisors, have attempted to defendresearch on biological weapons. Although the historical record is scant,there is a degree of continuity in their justifications, and a number ofthemes can be identified. It was argued, that biological weaponsresearch is morally justified because it produces humane weapons; thatit is no different from medical or other research; and that it is beingperformed for defensive purposes. It is argued that this defence isdirected primarily towards other scientists working on germ warfare, andwas formed part of the `moral economy' of that secretcommunity.