Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention: Summary of an International Workshop

This report offers a summary of the substantive presentations during an international workshop, Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, held October 31 - November 3, 2010 at the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It is meant to provide scientists and other technical experts with factual information about the range and variety of topics discussed at the workshop, which may be of interest to national governments and non-governmental organizations as they begin to prepare for the 7th Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) in 2011.

The Beijing workshop reflected the continuing engagement by national academies international scientific organizations, and individual scientists and engineers in considering the biosecurity implications of developments in the life sciences and assessing trends in science and technology (S&T) relevant to nonproliferation. The workshop provided an opportunity for the scientific community to discuss the implications of relevant developments in S&T for multiple aspects of the BWC.

Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention follows the structure of the plenary sessions at the workshop. It begins with introductory material about the BWC and current examples of the types and modes of science advice available to the BWC and other international nonproliferation and disarmament agreements, in particular the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This report includes only a very brief description of the some of the post-presentation discussions held during the plenary sessions - and does not include an account of the small breakout groups - since these were intended to inform the committee's finding and conclusions and will be reflected in the final report. 

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