New Paper: Ethics & Dual-Use Bioengineering

GCRI has a new academic paper out. The ethics of global catastrophic risk from dual-use bioengineering, by Seth Baum and Grant Wilson, has been accepted for publication in Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine. The paper was written for a talk of the same title presented at the 7th Annual International Conference on Ethical Issues In Biomedical Engineering.

The paper discusses ethics and law issues raised by dual-use bioengineering. Dual-use technologies are technologies with both beneficial and harmful applications. Bioengineered technologies can be both very beneficial and very harmful, in some cases posing a risk of global catastrophe. The paper argues that reducing GCR should be a top priority for those involved in geoengineering. It also discusses some opportunities to reduce the risk via international regulation.

A full non-technical summary can be found here. Readers familiar with the GCR literature will find many points familiar. The paper applies my work on GCR ethics, e.g. in Better to exist: A reply to Benatar, as well as Grant’s work on GCR international law, in particular Minimizing global catastrophic and existential risks from emerging technologies through international law. A core goal of the paper is to share these ideas with the bioengineering ethics community, including the attendees of the conference this was written for.

This post was written by
Seth Baum is Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute.
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