Bridging Science and Security for Biological Research: A Dialogue between Universities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a meeting report that describes the third workshop in a series that was run jointly between the United States (US) FBI and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The goal of the workshops was to discuss how to increase communication between the US FBI and American universities so that the two groups could work together to reduce national security threats from biological research and to maintain the US competitive research advantage. Although this workshop was US focused, it is a good example of how to increase collaboration between academics and national security practitioners to mitigate risk.
The meetings took place throughout 2012 and 2013 under the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD). WMDD was created after September 11, 2001 to provide a cohesive and coordinated approach to countering WMD threats and responding to incidents if they occur. WMDD has a Biological Countermeasures Unit (BCU) that conducts extensive outreach to the life sciences community to proactively build mutually beneficial relationships and broaden scientists’ understanding of biosecurity concerns. The workshop was in collaboration with AAAS, a US-based science society that serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science.