Federation of American Scientists Module 1.0: Introduction
Topic: Control Efforts Subtopic: National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity

National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity Image

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB)was established within the NIH in 2004 in response to the National Research Council’s Fink Report. It consists of scientists and national security experts, who will "advise on and recommend specific strategies for the efficient and effective oversight of federally conducted or supported potential dual-use biological research taking into consideration both the national security concerns and the needs of the research community."

Practically speaking, the NSABB will advise institutional biosafety committees, which are already required at federally funded research institutions that work with recombinant DNA. IBC's will, in turn, review research proposals submitted by scientists within that institution. The NSABB firmly establishes the institutional policy that scientists will be the ones who judge the research of their colleagues and identify potentially sensitive research and the steps needed to address its conduct and dissemination. The NSABB has 24 appointed voting members and held its inaugural meeting on June 30, 2005.

Specifically, the NSABB will:
Advise on strategies for local and federal biosecurity oversight for all federally funded or supported life sciences research.
 
Advise on the development of guidelines for biosecurity oversight of life sciences research and provide ongoing evaluation and modification of these guidelines as needed.
 
Advise on strategies to work with journal editors and other stakeholders to ensure the development of guidelines for the publication, public presentation, and public communication of potentially sensitive life sciences research.
 
Advise on the development of guidelines for mandatory programs for education and training in biosecurity issues for all life scientists and laboratory workers at federally-funded institutions.
 
Provide guidance on the development of a code of conduct for life scientists and laboratory workers that can be adopted by federal agencies as well as professional organizations and institutions engaged in the performance of life sciences research domestically and internationally.
 

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