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Joint Committee on Dual Use

Publications of the DFG and Leopoldina on the topic of security-relevant research

Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research: Progress Report (2018)
The report commences with an overview of the debate on the handling of security-relevant research and codes of conducts of industry in this regard as it stands in Germany and on an international level. The research areas currently in the centre of public debate on security-relevant research are genome surgery, synthetic biology, robotics and artificial intelligence. The report then addresses the prerequisites for the funding of security-relevant research by the DFG and in the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, before presenting the results of the Joint Committee survey on the work of Committees on Ethics in Security-Relevant Research in the last two years and initiatives to raise awareness of the ethical aspects of security-relevant research. It concludes with a documentation of the two most recent conferences of the Joint Committee and an outlook of its work ahead.

InterAcademy Partnership: Assessing the Security Implications of Genome Editing Technology: Report of an international workshop (2018)
From 11 to 13 October 2017, the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) held a workshop on the latest advances in genome editing and their societal implications. The workshop was organised by the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and Leopoldina.

DFG: Guidelines for Funding Applications (2018)
In point 2.6, the DFG requests applicants to check their project for security-relevant aspects and to consult a KEF where necessary.

Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research: Progress Report (2016)
The 2016 progress report begins with a summary in Chapter A of the developments leading up to the establishment of the Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research by the DFG and the Leopoldina in November 2014. Chapter B reports on the tasks of the Joint Committee and its activities up to 1 October 2016, with particular focus on the progress of implementing the DFG and Leopoldina Recommendations for Handling Security-Relevant Research of June 2014. Chapter C provides an overview of the political debate on security-relevant research in Germany, which was prompted by experiments with highly pathogenic influenza viruses. Finally, Chapter D gives an outlook of the planned future development of the Joint Committee.

Model Statutes for Committees on Ethics in Security-Relevant Research (2016, PDF)
The model statutes are designed to provide assistance in establishing KEFs (Committees on Ethics in Security-Relevant Research) at German universities, research institutes and research associations.

German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, acatech, Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities: The Opportunities and Limits of Genome Editing (2015)
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Academy of Science and Engineering – acatech, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the German Research Foundation (DFG) stress the great scientific potential of genome editing and that it is ethically and legally unobjectionable in many areas.

EASAC: Gain of Function: experimental applications relating to potentially pandemic pathogens (2015)
Influenza outbreaks cause significant burden to public health. The inability to predict which specific virus subtypes will trigger the next influenza pandemic emphasizes the need to address gaps in the knowledge required to manage future pandemics. Research, including the study of virus transmissibility, host range, resistance, immunogenicity, pathogenicity and virulence, is critical to fill many of these knowledge gaps.

Freedom and responsibility of research: do the prospects of success justify the potential risks? (2015)
Documentation of the symposium held by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Research Foundation and the German Ethics Council on 3 November 2014 in Halle (Saale). The symposium dealt with questions regarding the area of conflict between scientific freedom and scientific responsibility, with the practicality of self-governance using ethical codes of conduct or legal regulation of security-relevant research and with certain areas of security-relevant research such as research on highly pathogenic viruses, 3D printing and big data analyses.

Scientific Freedom and Scientific Responsibility – Recommendations for Handling Security-Relevant Research (2014)
Research plays a fundamental role in ensuring progress. Freedom of research, which is enshrined in the German Basic Law, is a fundamental requirement in this respect. Yet free research is also associated with risks. These risks result primarily from the danger of useful research findings being misused (known as the dual use dilemma). Legal regulations can only cover these risks to a limited extent.

DFG Senate Commission: Code of Conduct: Working with Highly Pathogenic Microorganisms and Toxins (2013, PDF)
The DFG wants to provide researchers with a code of conduct which addresses the work with highly pathogenic microorganisms and toxins and responds to the specific situation in Germany.

Office

Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research, DFG and Leopoldina

Office c/o ABC Business Center (4. OG)
Friedrichstraße 79
10117 Berlin

Dr. Johannes Fritsch

Dr. Johannes Fritsch

Head of the Office

phone: +49 (0) 160 9121 2676
email: johannes.fritsch@leopoldina.org

Lena Diekmann

Lena Diekmann

Project Coordinator

phone: +49 (0)170 79 206 49
email: lena.diekmann@leopoldina.org

Dr. Anita Krätzner-Ebert

Dr. Anita Krätzner-Ebert

Scientific Officer

phone: +49 (0) 175 293 3935
email: anita.kraetzner-ebert@leopoldina.org

Dr. Katarina Timofeev

Contact at the German Research Foundation

phone: +49 (0) 228 - 885 2591
fax: +49 (0) 228 - 885 713 320
email: dual-use@dfg.de

Dr. Ingrid Ohlert

Contact at the German Research Foundation

phone: +49 (0) 228 - 885 2258
fax: +49 (0) 228 - 885 713 320
email: ingrid.ohlert@dfg.de