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Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities

April 22, 2020
Alexander Titus Microbes
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I had the great opportunity to speak on a panel at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) about the implications for synthetic biology to national security. This was the second part of a two-part series exploring the importance and implications of emerging biotechnology and the changing nature of national and global security.

The event really focused on both the opportunities and risks created with innovation in the synthetic biology industry. We also discussed the balance between promoting and protecting the technology as a critical national capability, and how the bioeconomy and economic security play a part in national security.

PART 2 – Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities

The sections of the video with each speaker are below. Megan Palmer spoke primarily about dual-use technologies and ways we can coordinate and regulate technology. Rocco Casagrande spoke a lot about laboratory safety, protocols, and national and international export regulations. My time was spent discussing the opportunity-cost of not investing in synthetic biology, both from the government and industry standpoint, and why it’s so crucial for us to continue to invest in these technologies.

  • Kick-off: 31:00
  • Megan: 35:40, 48:00, 1:00:50, 1:09:00
  • Rocco: 38:00, 52:30, 1:04:00, 1:12:40
  • Alexander: 43:00, 56:30, 1:06:45, 1:17:20
Online Event: Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities (PART 2 of 2)

Panelists

  • Dr. Alexander Titus – Chief Strategy Officer, Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute
  • Dr. Megan Palmer – Senior Research Scholar, Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford
  • Dr. Rocco Casagrande – Founder and Managing Director, Gryphon Scientific

PART 1 – Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities

In addition to the panel I was a part of, the first part of this series featured a keynote from Dr. Tara O’Toole from In-Q-Tel. I had the privilege of working with Tara when I was at In-Q-Tel, and she is a phenomenal leader in biosecurity and global health security.

https://youtu.be/rWygn7wX5mw
Online Event: Synthetic Biology and National Security: Risks and Opportunities (PART 1 of 2)

Speaker

  • Dr. Tara O’Toole – Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow, In-Q-Tel (IQT)

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