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Code of biosecurity ethics

The Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness adheres to the following code of biosecurity ethics which is based on a proposal published 25th March 2005 in the journal Science.

All persons and institutions engaged in any aspect of the life sciences must:

  1. Work for ethical and beneficent advancement, development and use of scientific knowledge.
  2. Refuse to engage in any research that is intended to facilitate biological warfare or terrorism.
  3. Work to ensure that their discoveries and knowledge do no harm.
  4. Call to the attention of the public, or appropriate authorities, activities (including unethical research) that there are reasonable grounds to believe are likely to contribute to biological warfare or terrorism.
  5. Seek to allow access to biological agents that could be used in biological weapons only to conscientious individuals.
  6. Seek to restrict dissemination of information or knowledge that could be readily misused for biological warfare or terrorism to those who need to know for useful and legitimate purposes.
  7. Seek to ensure that the benefits of research activities always outweigh the risks and harms.
  8. Abide by laws and regulations that apply to the conduct of science unless to do so would be unethical, and recognize a responsibility to work to change laws and regulations that conflict with ethics.
  9. Recognize, without penalty, all persons' rights of conscientious objection to participation in research that they consider ethically or morally objectionable.
  10. Faithfully transmit this code and the ethical principles upon which it is based to all who are or may become engaged in the conduct of science.