Great expectations—ethics, avian flu and the value of progress

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (4):209-213 (2013)


A recent controversy over the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity's recommendation to censor two publications on genetically modified H5N1 avian influenza has generated concern over the threat to scientific freedom such censorship presents. In this paper, I argue that in the case of these studies, appeals to scientific freedom are not sufficient to motivate a rejection of censorship. I then use this conclusion to draw broader concerns about the ethics of dual-use research


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Nicholas Evans
Australian National University

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