Understanding the potential implications of advances in science and technology (S&T) for the operation of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is a key task for the ConventionI. The lack of a commonly accepted method for assessing relevant risks presents significant challenges, however. In addition, a framework to assess the potential benefits arising from S&T could similarly inform the Convention. Qualitative frameworks have features that make them amenable to serving as tools to foster systematic discussions, reveal areas of agreement and disagreement, and provide a basis for continuing dialogue. The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) and the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine collaborated on a pilot exercise to examine how two qualitative frameworks could facilitate structured discussions of advances in S&T using BWC-relevant case examples. In a pilot exercise on 1 August 2019, participants worked through these frameworks and discussed areas in which they could be adapted to help support the BWC.

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