The Formulation and Non-formulation of Security Concerns

Dark Data Workshop   On 15-16 December 2014 a workshop titled “Knowledge/Value and Dark Data: Absences, Interventions and Digital Worlds” was held at the University of Exeter, part supported by the ‘Formulation and Non-formulation of Security Concerns’ project.  The theme was the dark side of evidence — that which is not there, not readily available, not usable to prove claims or foster discoveries.  This included tacit, ignored, denied, forbidden, private, inaccessible, unknown and unexplored matters.  
Wits Seminar   On 26 November, project members participated in an evening seminar titled ‘Ghosts from the past: the importance of the HPCSA's findings in the Wouter Basson case'. This event was held at the Medical School at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2014 in conjunction with the South African Medical Association (Gauteng branch), the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, and Wits Students’ Bioethics Society.  Some 250 individuals attended.  
EASST Conference

Non-concerns about Science and Technology and within STS

September 17-19th, 2014
Torun, Poland

Project members organized a track of presentations under the title ‘Non-concerns about science and technology and within STS’ at the September European Association for the Study of Science and Technology conference. Click for the full programme

United Nations Side Event  

Can We Learn from History?

The Past and Future Implications of Scientific
Developments for the Biological Weapons Convention

6 August 2014
Palais de Nations
9:00 - 10:00

In 2014 the UN Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of Experts and Meeting of States Parties will include consideration of 'advances in the understanding of pathogenicity, virulence, toxicology, immunology and related issues'. This side event at the Meeting of Experts furthered this discussion by asking what lessons can be learnt from past attempts to assess and address the implications of scientific and technical developments for the prohibition of biological weapons. We recounted experiences from a number of continents - including Africa, North America, and Europe - and across a range of fields of science to forward possibilities for what can be done today to ensure trends in the life sciences serve prophylactic, protective and other peaceful purposes.  In particular, with the aid of history we asked how can those concerned with the implications of science and technology become more aware of the implications they are not addressing. It was chaired by Prof. Kathryn Nixdorff (University of Darmstadt).

PDF slides are available:

Bioethics Society Launch  

Chandré Gould and Brian Rappert presented on their research about the former South African biological weapons programme at University of the Witwatersrand.  The presentation served as the launch event for the Wits Students’ Bioethics Society, within the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics.  It was held in conjunction with the South African Medical Association.  For a newspaper article based on the talk, click here.









Issues and Non-issues in Science and Medicine

Organiser : Brian Rappert (University of Exeter)
Dates : 27-28 September 2013
Venue : Exeter, University of Exeter

This symposium addressed two questions: How can those concerned with the ethical, political and social implications of science, technology and medicine become more mindful about the implications they are not addressing ? How can the recognition of such absences be translated into research agendas that are practically relevant?


September 27th

9:30 - 10:00 Arrivals. Coffee/tea.
10:00 - 10:30 Introductions

10:30 - 11:30 On Holding What isn't There
Brian Rappert (Exeter) Background Paper

11:30 - 11:45 Break

11:45 – 12:30 On Forming What isn't There
Richard Moyes (Article 36)

12:30 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 - 2:45 Lost Histories? - Chair: Carol Stone (Dstl)
Brian Balmer (UCL) “That some areas may have military significance does not necessarily mean that they would be attractive military options”: What experts said and did not say about genetic engineering in the 1970s. Slides
Ann Kelly (Exeter) “Mosquito behaviour in the moonlight: Shuttering, fact- traps and entomological aesthetics” Slides Abstract

2:45 - 3.15 Tea

3.15 – 4:45 Writing Omission - Chair: Sabina Leonelli (Exeter)
Felicity Mellor (Imperial) “ Non-news values in science journalism” Slides
Chandre Gould (ISS) and Brian Rappert (Exeter) “The dis-eases of secrecy”
Discussant : Anton A van Niekerk (Stellenbosch)

4:45-5:15 Closing Discussion

September 28th

9:00 - 11:15 The Tyranny of Light – Chair: Filippa Lentzos (KCL)
Brett Edwards (Bath) “Dual-use governance in synthetic biology”
Sam Evans (Berkeley) “Getting security off the mind”

(Short break)

Emma Frow (Edinburgh) "Shaping matters of (non-) concern in synthetic biology
Michael Schillmeier (Exeter) "What ELSA makes small in nanomedicine"

11:15 – 11:30 Tea

11:30 - 1:00 Surprise and Foresight - Chair: Gail Davies (Exeter)
Kathleen Vogel (Cornell) “Intelligence forecasting: The Jefferson Experiment” Abstract
John Walker (FCO) “Missing the obvious - coping with scientific and technological change in arms control negotiations” Slides

1:00 – 1:30 Lunch

1:30 – 2:15 Surprise and Foresight - Chair: Chandre Gould (ISS)
James Revill (Sussex) “Seeing the wood for the trees: The (mis)framing threats and risks in relation to CBW”
2:15 – 3:00 From Recognition to Action - Chair: Chandre Gould (ISS)
Malcolm Dando (Bradford)
" 'In the Know': Why the well-informed are concerned about the possible misuse of advances in neuroscience in novel chemical and biological weapons"

3:00 - 3.15 Tea

3.15 - 4:45 From Recognition to Action - Chair: Jonathan Forman (OPCW)
Gerald Walther (Bradford)
Catharine Rhodes (Manchester)

4:45 Closing Discussion
Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology; University of Exeter; Exeter EX4 4QJ; United Kingdom
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