Tom and I went to the FBI-DIY Bio outreach conference in Walnut Creek last year. It was a really fun forum for learning about the various DIY bio artistic and scientific efforts all over the world. (We could not believe how many artists were calling themselves practitioners of DIY Bio) Incredibly, this was all funded (plane tickets, meals, and all) by the FBI. The cost was a brief slide presentation of your DIY bio activities.
We were there to announce the forming of a community laboratory in Baltimore, but what to call the thing? Lucky for us, there was a bio-security workshop that all the conference-goers participated in (some more reluctantly than others) The workshop presented a series of hypothetical situations involving a still-hypothetical-at-the-time community laboratory called BUGSS, so, naturally, we stole the name.
Journalists Hanno Charisius, Richard Friebe, and Sascha Karberg recount their version of the details of this adventure, admittedly with some ominous overtones, in a recent article in BBC FUTURE.
But what's this all about? Is it really that scary, or is there a strategy here that makes a lot of sense? Representatives of the FBI's Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate will be here to tell us all about it. Here are their words:
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate is charged with building a cohesive and coordinated approach to incidents involving nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical weapons—with an overriding focus on prevention. With the rapid development of technology, capabilities and information regarding the biological world, a proactive approach is being taken to address the misuse of biological agents as weapons of mass destruction. Supervisory Special Agent Nathan E. Head, Ph.D, from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. will speak about the FBI’s efforts to address this important issue, along with representatives from the FBI’s Baltimore Field Division.”
Please come on over for a frank discussion of DIY Bio, community laboratories, and bio-security with the FBI, You might be surprised at what you hear. FREE to ALL!
BUGSS is a 501(C)3 charity. Please help keep BUGSS going!