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Neuroscience and the Future of Chemical-Biological Weapons

Neuroscience and the Future of Chemical-Biological Weapons by Malcolm Dando
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This study is concerned with the potential misuse of advances in neuroscience. Recently, fears surrounding the abuse of benignly-intended research in the life sciences – the dual-use problem – have focused on 'Gain-of Function' experiments, in which deadly influenza viruses have been made transmissible through the air. However, many other aspects of the life sciences, besides the study of viruses, could be subject to hostile misuse. There is a century-long history of the development of novel neuroweapons, which is based on civil research and a vast, ongoing increase in research funding. These developments underpin an attempt to produce a mechanistic understanding of brain functions, which risk being subjected to misuse in the future. This study does not propose that this benignly-intended work be reined in, nor suggest that neuroscientists bear the sole responsibility for preventing the misuse of their work. However, they remain inextricably involved and should, one could argue, assume a certain level of accountability. Thus, this book sheds light on how they, and international security specialists, can work to bolster efforts to minimise the potential for misuse of modern neuroscience research.
Palgrave Macmillan; July 2015
206 pages; ISBN 9781137381828
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Title: Neuroscience and the Future of Chemical-Biological Weapons
Author: Malcolm Dando
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