The Governance of Dual-Use Neuroscience

  • Malcolm Dando
Part of the Global Issues Series book series (GLOISS)


Given the history of major misuse, for hostile purposes, of advances in science and technology, perhaps the most likely outcome over coming decades is that precisely the same thing will happen to the ongoing advances in neuroscience. Then, as Meselson1 warned, ‘therein could lie unprecedented opportunities for violence coercion, repression or subjugation’. It is important, however, to grasp that this need not necessarily happen.


National Security State Parti Biological Weapon Life Science Research Chemical Weapon Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Meselson, M. (2000) Averting the hostile exploitation of biotechnology. The Chemical and Biological Conventions Bulletin, 48, 16–19.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Evans, R. J. (1997) In Defence of History. London: Granta Publications, pp. 60–61.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    MacKenzie, D. (2014) Imagine there’s no countries. New Scientist, 6 September, 30–37.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    ibid, p.36.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kissinger, H. (2014) The World in Flames. The Sunday Times, 31 August, News Review pp. 1–3.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (2010) Global Strategic Trends-Out to 2040. Ministry of Defence, London.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    ibid, p. 10.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    ibid, p. 14.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    ibid, p. 15.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See, for example, Bardin, J. (2012) From Bench to Bunker: How a 1960s discovery in neuroscience spawned a military project. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 July. Available at <>. 19 September 2012.
  12. 12.
    Blank, R. H. (1999) Brain Policy: How the New Neuroscience Will Change Our Lives and Our Politics. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Blank, R. H. (2013) Intervention in the Brain: Politics, Policy, and Ethics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    ibid, p.36.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ibid, p.46.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    ibid, p.65.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Moreno, J. D. (2006) Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense. New York: Dana Press.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reference 13, p. 224.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    ibid, p. 226.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    ibid, p. 223.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    ibid, p. 227.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reference 17, pp. 90–91.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    ibid, pp. 163–184.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Crowley, M.J. A. and Dando, M. R. (2015) The Use of Incapacitating Chemical Agent Weapons in Law Enforcement, in press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Reference 17, p. 204.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Giordano, J. (2014) (Ed.) Neurotechnology in National Security and Defense: Practical Considerations, Neuroethical Concerns. Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Reton: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    ibid, pp. 227–238.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    ibid, pp. 79–114.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    ibid, p. 80.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    ibid, pp. 96–109.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    United States (2014) The United States of America Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern. Available at <>. 20 October 2014.
  32. 32.
    ibid, p. 8.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    ibid, p. 12.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    ibid, p. 16.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    ibid, p. 18.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    United States (2014) U.S. Government Gain-of-Function Deliberative Process and Research Funding Pause in Selected G ain-of-Function Research Involving Influenza, MERS, and SARS Viruses. Available at < 20 October 2014.
  37. 37.
    Netherlands National Academy (2014) Report of a Debate on G ain-of-Function Research between Professor Giorgio Palu and Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, Amsterdam, 25 June.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Crowley, M. J. A. and Dando, M. R. (2014) Down the Slippery Slope? A Study of Contemporary Dual-use Chemical and Life Science Research Potentially Applicable to the Development of Incapacitating Chemical Agent Weapons. Policy Paper 8, Biochemical Security 2030 Project, University of Bath, November.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Dando, M. R. (2014) To What Extent Was the Review of Science and Technology Made More Effective and Efficient at the 2013 Meeting of BTWC States? Policy Paper 5, Biochemical Security 2030 Project, University of Bath, May.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ambassador Urs Schmid (2014) Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties. BWC Implementation Support Unit, United Nations, Geneva, 7 October.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Serronia, M. I. J. (2007) Awakenings (1990): The epidemic of children who fell asleep. Journal of Medicine and Movies, 3, 102–112.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Tucker, J. B. and Mahan, E. R. (2009) President Nixon’s Decision to Renounce the U.S. Offensive Biological Weapons Program. Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Case Study 1, National Defense University, Washington, DC, October.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Reference 42, p. 3. Footnote 9 lists some of the scientists involved such as ‘Harvard molecular biologist Matthew Meselson’.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Reference 42, p. 7.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Deutscher Ethikrat (2014) Opinion: Biosecurity — Freedom and Responsibility of Research. German Ethics Council, Berlin, (p. 179).Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Hass, R. N. (2014) The unravelling: how to respond to a disordered world. Foreign Affairs, November/ December, 70–79.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Boot, M. (2014) More small wars: counterinsurgency is here to stay. Foreign Affairs, November/December, 5–14.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Freedman, L. D. (2014) The war that didn’t end all wars: what started in 1914 — and why it lasted so long. Foreign Affairs, November/December, 148–153.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Malcolm Dando 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Dando
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Peace StudiesUniversity of BradfordUK

Personalised recommendations