Preventing A Biological Arms Race

Preventing A Biological Arms Race

Edited by Susan Wright





This source book presents the essential technical, political, legal, and historical background needed for informed judgments about the recent expansion of military interest in the life sciences - particularly in the weapons potential of the new biotechnology. Preventing a Biological Arms Race develops the case for strengthening national and international commitments to biological disarmament and proposes courses of action to achieve this goal. "In theory," Susan Wright observes, "the menace of biological warfare should no longer be with us." Developing, producing, and stockpiling biological weapons are unconditionally banned by international treaty. East-West military rivalry and confrontations in the Middle East have eroded confidence in the treaty regime, however. The advent of genetic engineering and other new biotechnologies has revived military interest in biological weaponry, generating concern about the potential weapons applications of biological research. The 15 contributions by experts from a wide range of disciplines include a history of U.S. biological warfare policy, analyses of the ethical issues posed by defensive biological warfare research, case studies of alleged violations of the international legal regime prohibiting biological weapons, reviews of that regime, and proposals for strengthening the barriers to biological warfare. A series of 14 appendixes collect important data and documents related to biological weapons."

ContributorsBarton J. Bernstein, Gordon Burck, Leonard A. Cole, Richard Falk, Jeanne Guillemin, John Isaacs, Stuart Ketcham, Jonathan King, Marc Lappé, Matthew Meselson, Richard Novick, Charles Piller, Julian Perry Robinson, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, Seth Shulman, Nicholas A. Sims, Robert L. Sinsheimer, Harlee Strauss, Susan Wright, Keith R. Yamamoto


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262231480 464 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262730969 464 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Susan Wright

Susan Wright is a historian of science at the Residential College of the University of Michigan where she directs the Science and Society Program.


  • By far the most authoritative and comprehensive account of developments associated with biological weaponry to appear in recent years, this book is essential reading for researchers and all interested in armament and disarmament issues.

    Frank Barnaby

    Former Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

  • I recommend this book even for readers who are well versed in the issues. Susan Wright has done an outstanding job.

    Senator Carl Levin

    Member of U.S. Senate Committees on Armed Services and Governmental Affairs