Biological research creates knowledge and technologies that can significantly improve human and animal health as well as environmental conditions. Sometimes, however, these same findings can be misused, for example as bioweapons or for bioterrorism. The Forum for Genetic Research is contributing to draw the attention of the scientific community to this so-called "dual-use" dilemma.

Biohazard (Image: A. Chiang, flickr)
Biohazard (Image: A. Chiang, flickr)

Current productions

Erlenmeyer im Forschungslabor
  • 31.01.2019

Teilrevision der Einschliessungsverordnung

Die Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz nehmen im Rahmen der Vernehmlassung des Bundes Stellung zu den vorgeschlagenen Änderungen in der Einschliessungsverordnung.
Erlenmeyer im Forschungslabor
  • 19.04.2018

Schweizer Perspektive auf das Missbrauchspotential biologischer Forschung

Schweizer Forschende der Biowissenschaften stehen einem formellen Verhaltenskodex zur Verhinderung von Missbrauch biologischer Forschung kritisch gegenüber. Dies ist eines der Ergebnisse eines Projektes des Forum Genforschung zur Biosecurity, das nun in der Fachzeitschrift „Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology“ publiziert wurde.
Titelblatt Broschüre Missbrauchspotenzial und Biosecurity in der biologischen Forschung
  • 2017

Misuse potential and biosecurity in life sciences research

Research in the life sciences produces knowledge and technologies to the benefit of humanity and the environment. However, certain discoveries can become dangerous when misused out of ill intent.

In progress

The Forum for Genetic Research actively follows developments on the topic of biosecurity and contributes to external workshops and symposiums.

Completed work


Misuse of biological research - do we need to be concerned?
February 3rd 2017, Zurich
In collaboration with Life Sciences Switzerland and the support of the Federal Office for Public Health

Young scientists discussed about "dual use" research at the symposium "Misuse of biological resaerch: do we need to be concerned?" on February 3rd 2017. The video produced at the event gives an overview of the discussion and the different opinions expressed.

Video (2017) Misuse of biological research: do we need to be concerned?

Workshops for the scientific community

In spring 2016, the Forum for Genetic Research with the support of the Federal Office of Public Health three workshops on "How to address the misuse potential of biological research?. More than 40 life science researchers took part. They discussed how the research community is currently addressing the "dual use" dilemma and which additional tools could be useful. You can find an overview of the results of these discussion in the summary below.

  • 2016

Weapons: making, selling and using them

Swiss legislators are currently debating dual-use goods, such as the kitchen knife, the perfect example of a product that is both utensil and weapon. They’re trying to find a solution to the inevitable moral issues that arise out of legislating the arms trade, in particular defining categories of military goods and of authorised export-destination countries.

Externe Publikationen

Wissenschaftliche Integrität - Grundsätze und Verfahrensregeln
Akademien der Wissenschaften Schweiz, 2008

IAP Statement on Biosecurity
IAP, 2005