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Seminar | Energy and Global Security

Science-Informed Security: Roles for Chemists and Biologists in Weapons of Mass Destruction Nonproliferation

EGS Summer Seminar

Abstract: Nonproliferation encompasses efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including chemical weapons (CW) that use the toxic properties of chemicals to cause widespread death and suffering and biological weapons (BW) that use pathogens toward the same end. The effective implementation of nonproliferation policies and regulations — such as controls on the export of dual-use” materials, equipment, and technology that could assist WMD programs — requires the involvement of scientists and engineers who can use their technical training to support effective responses to national and international security challenges.

Chemists and biologists in the Strategic Security Sciences Chemical/Biological Proliferation Analysis and Detection Group (CBPAD) provide technical advisory services to government decision-makers so that scientific ground truths” are taken into account in the formulation and implementation of nonproliferation policies and regulations. Such services range from analysis of the proliferation potential of chemical and biological technologies, to risk assessments of export license applications, to development of training and resources on dual-use technologies of concern for CW and BW proliferation. This seminar will provide a history of CW and BW nonproliferation efforts and how CBPAD experts are working to strengthen them, with a particular focus on export controls as a highly technical tool in the nonproliferation toolbox.

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