Dr. Piers Millett on how the Scientific Community can Move Beyond Taxonomic Lists for Biosecurity
IBBIS Executive Director, Dr. Piers Millett, is a lead author on a journal article for Health Security, “Beyond Biosecurity for by Taxonomic Lists: Lessons, Challenges, and Opportunities.” The piece, co-authored with Tessa Alexanian, Kathryn R. Brink, Sarah R. Carter, James Diggans, Megan J. Palmer, Ryan Ritterson, Jonas B. Sandbrink, and Nicole E. Wheeler, examines how the scientific community can begin to move past using lists of organisms for biosecurity controls and start thinking about genetic sequences of concern, or even biological functions of control.

The findings of this article are important because while it is acknowledged taxonomic lists should remain necessary for certain purposes, there are many more tools at the disposal of the scientific community today. The authors lay out general guidelines for the use of lists within biosecurity regimes and argue for a more robust approach to develop and implement oversight. This is done by first understanding the goal of the biosecurity regime and the biological functions that it is attempting to control; and then choose the appropriate tools to control these functions.

This article promotes IBBIS’s organizational objectives of strengthening biosecurity norms through the development of innovative tools.