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Biotech Security Science

Avian Flu Researcher Plans to Defy Dutch Ban On Publishing Paper 118

scibri writes "Ron Fouchier, one of the researchers involved in the controversy over whether to publish research on mutant versions of H5N1 bird flu, has said he plans to submit his paper to Science without applying for an export control license as demanded by the Dutch government. Failing to get the license means he could face penalties including up to six years in prison. Whether the paper falls under export-control laws is unclear. The Netherlands implements European Union (EU) legislation on export controls, which require an export permit for 'dual-use' materials and information — those that could have both legitimate and malicious uses — including those relating to dangerous pathogens. But the EU law allows an exception for 'basic scientific research' that is 'not primarily directed towards a specific practical aim or objective,' which Fouchier says should cover his work."
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Avian Flu Researcher Plans to Defy Dutch Ban On Publishing Paper

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  • Re:Good for him (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:34PM (#39724007)

    The invention of flight had obvious benefits to the scientific community and the general population. Mutating a virus to be more deadly isn't quite the same. Although research could evolve from it that proves to be beneficial, the immediate result of this research is not. This is also potentially far more deadly than a plane flying into a building. It could have global consequences if misused with the potential to kill far more than 9/11.

    They are not the same.

  • Limited distribution (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jamesl ( 106902 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @12:47PM (#39724209)

    " ... he plans to submit his paper to Science ... "

    Where it will be hidden behind a paywall

  • by Idbar ( 1034346 ) on Wednesday April 18, 2012 @02:38PM (#39725753)
    Furthermore, because what prohibits anyone else to do research on the topic?

    So for one... terrorists for sure won't try to publish their research.
    And second, he probably has spent a good amount of time researching to be scooped by another researcher in another country that may not have the "exporting" issue.

    Still, that doesn't mean is going to be published, and peer-reviewing will be in place, very likely if some consider is very interesting it will be published. Unless other hands wave at the paper and never gets published. (Yes, submitting doesn't mean publishing)

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN