HSP Publishes Work on Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) Awareness in Pakistan
Any research intended to benefit society that can be directly and immediately misapplied to cause harm is considered Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC). Due to rapid scientific and technical breakthroughs, DURC knowledge, oversight, and stakeholder involvement are becoming increasingly important. Since 2015, HSP has been working to raise awareness of DURC in Pakistan to accompany the country's strong growth in research. In 2016, HSP performed a survey to identify critical knowledge gaps, and based on these findings, prepared a DURC training manual (https://www.healthsecuritypartners.org/imo/media/doc/durc manual.pdf) for the Pakistani scientific community.
Between July 2018 and January 2020, five DURC workshops were held using
this training manual in Pakistan. These workshops were attended by personnel
from universities providing postgraduate programs in life and medical sciences,
and were designed to help participants understand DURC, assess their own
research, decide if any of their studies constituted DURC, identify potential
risks while performing research, and build strategies to manage the risks of
conducting DURC. The Journal of Biosafety and Biosecurity recently published this research,
which was titled " Capacity
Building for the Identification, Mitigation, and Communication of DURC in
Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Study", and is
available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2588933821000388.