Bush moves to tighten security around scientific research
- By: Fred Charatan
In the wake of the anthrax attacks last October (BMJ 2001;323:942, 951), the Bush administration has been taking measures to improve secrecy about science research, in the hope of keeping biological weapons out of hostile hands.
The move has been criticised by some scientists who think that it will threaten scientific advance and the spread of important information.
Explaining the new policy, Tom Ridge, director of homeland security, said: “We're working hard for a set of guidelines so terrorists can't use information that this country produces against us.” He added that scientists were being closely consulted about any new guidelines.
Last month, the government began to withdraw from circulation nearly 7000 technical documents that dealt mainly with the production of biological and chemical weapons. The documents, some of which were published as far back as the 1940s and '50s, can no longer be purchased from government outlets or ordered on