David Franz: We face all kinds of natural risks in biology that are very similar to biological weapons: infectious disease, pandemics or outbreaks, and so on. So we can prepare for all of that almost as one. We can prepare with good public health, good scientific research, the ability to diagnose disease, the ability to do disease surveillance, and so on, and that all kind of runs together. On the nuclear side, nuclear weapons are nuclear weapons, it's a brighter line between... those two categories.
If you look at them as weapons, the potential for harm with a biological weapon is, I think, just as great as with a nuclear weapon. But dealing with the problem is much, much different. And one of our difficulties in this country has been taking a biological... a nuclear set of rules for controlling nuclear weapons, and trying to apply it to biology, and it's very difficult. With nuclear weapons, it's a small group of experts, it's a very technical, very technical problem, it's a small group of isotopes or tools or materials that you need to make the weapon. With biology, the technology is everywhere, to some degree, the knowledge is everywhere, although there is some special, sort of tacit knowledge that is also needed to make biological weapons, and there are many more experts who could make a biological weapon.
So, I think, rather than focusing on all the technical solutions, and locking up the bugs, or locking up the laboratories, or locking up the equipment, in the case of biology, we must focus much more on intent, and when we focus on intent, it's about people. So it's critical that we scientists, globally, work together on these problems.