Experts ‘scan horizon’ to help prepare governments for next major biosecurity threat

EurekAlert  February 3, 2021
A group of 41 academics and figures from industry and government from across the globe submitted 450 questions which were then debated, voted on and ranked to define the 80 most urgent key questions facing the UK government when it comes to biological security. They were subdivided into six categories: bioengineering; communication and behaviour; disease threats (including pandemics); governance and policy; invasive alien species; and securing biological materials and securing against misuse. The questions offer a research agenda for biological security in the UK that can assist the targeting of research resources and inform the implementation of the UK Biological Security Strategy. These questions include research that could aid with the mitigation of Covid-19, and preparation for the next pandemic. According to the researchers the structured and rigorous approach to creating a biological security research agenda will be replicated in other countries and regions. The world, not just the UK, needs a thoughtful approach to directing biological security research to tackle the more. Open Access TECHNICAL ARTICLE

An overview of the 80 questions process. Credit: PLOS One, January 6, 2021

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