Volume 85 Issue 43 | p. 41 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 22, 2007

Science and Security Commission Touted

Department: Government & Policy

The National Research Council has recommended that the U.S. establish a high-level science and security commission to resolve conflicts that arise at the interface of open research and tighter national security. Based on meetings between two NRC committees and representatives of the science and security communities, the resulting report notes several contentious areas that such a commission could help resolve. These include interpretation of National Security Decision Directive 189—which states that the government is not supposed to restrict, to the maximum extent possible, the products of unclassified fundamental research—and the disparate use of the "sensitive but unclassified" designation in order to restrict research publication or the participation of non-U.S. researchers. Other areas of concern are the use of export controls and the regulation of biosecurity and dual-use research in the life sciences. The proposed commission, to be cochaired by the national security adviser and the director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy, would pursue the best avenues for initiating discussions of the issues and their resolution, the report states.

 
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