Submission of Evidence to the UK Biosecurity Strategy Call for Evidence

Report by Tom Hobson, Lalitha Sundaram, David Aldridge, Alec Christie, Brett Edwards, Malcolm Dando, Silviu Petrovan, Lijun Shang, William Sutherland, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Rebecca Smith
Published on 29 March 2022

Researchers from CSER and BioRISC, led by Tom Hobson, produced an evidence submission proposing a central organising body for the development and implantation of biosecurity in the UK. In it, they argued for the importance of fostering strong academic and civil society capabilities in this area, and developing policy and practice in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.

Abstract: This is a joint submission from researchers at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and BioRISC, alongside collaborators from the University of Bath, the University of Bradford and the Biological Security Research Centre at London Metropolitan University. We argue here that there are a number of cross-cutting lessons to be learned from extant approaches to biosecurity, but that UK biological security — and the role of the UK as a soft-power leader in biosecurity globally — would be greatly enriched by the following:

  • Work to enhance the capacity and policy participation of civil society and academic actors in developing and implementing the UK’s biological security strategy on an ongoing basis
  • Work to further enhance biosecurity and bioethics education across both practice and policy communities
  • Further developing an approach that sees biological security as intrinsically connected to a number of other intersecting concerns, most notably, environmental degradation and climate change
  • Establishing a national coordinating institution to act as a focal point for the UK’s national biological security strategy

Read full submission 

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