This document contains recommendations for the governmental oversight of publicly funded life sciences research. These recommendations aim to minimize the possibility that this research and any resulting information, products, or technologies are misused for harmful purposes. Any life sciences research that has the potential for benevolent and malevolent applications is referred to in this document as “dual use research.” The phrase “dual use research of concern” refers to the subset of dual use research that has the most significant potential for malevolent applications. The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity’s (NSABB’s) preliminary analysis of the amount of dual use research of concern cases in the US concluded that the misuse of dual use research of concern is a low probability but potentially high-consequence event.
The NSABB is a federal committee that advises the United States government on issues related to biosecurity and dual use research. The recommendations provided in this document are intended to serve as a framework for the US government to develop a comprehensive and coordinated oversight policy for dual use research. The proposed framework may be useful for other countries seeking to establish a national oversight framework for dual use research. As of September 2021, this document is only available in English and has no scheduled updates.