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1
Why bother about chemical and
biological weapons ?
Teaching Ethics to Bioscience Students
Northampton 26 March 2013
Alas...
2
Chemical Weapons Convention:
Educational and Outreach Challenges
• Relevance to and ownership by students
and teachers i...
3
Approach
• Place chemical and biological weapons in a
larger context – multi-use chemicals
• Start with beneficial aspec...
4
Multiple Uses of Chemicals
A Chemical Plant
5
Multiple Uses of Chemicals
A Chemical Plant
6
Misuse of Chemicals
ephedra extracts banned
as diet supplements in
several countries
Triple Stack
Epehedra
Caffeine
Aspi...
7
CH CH
CH3
NH CH3
OH
pseudoephedrine
(cough suppressant)
CH2 CH
CH3
NH CH3
methamphetamine
(crystal meth)
8
Production of
Crystal Meth
9
Export Industry
10
Multiple-Use Chemicals
• Choices about the beneficial use,
misuse, or abuse of these multi-use
materials lie in our han...
11
Role for Science Education?
Break-Out Session
• Access to information
• Diversion of readily available materials
• Whos...
12
S CH2CH2OHHOCH2CH2
thiodiglycol
S CH2CH2ClClCH2CH2
mustard gas
Organization for
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Chemica...
13
14
15
16
17
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
Chemical and Biological Weapons:
Role for Science Education ?
• Access to information
• Diversion of readily available ...
28
Where we are now
• Project complete
• http://www.iupac.org/multiple-uses-of-
chemicals
• Material – text and pictures
•...
Biological Warfare
Catapults, bombs and
salad bars
Biological Agents
‘weaponized’ by the US prior
to 1969
● Anthrax
● Venezualan Equine
Encephalomyelitis
● Q Fever
● Yellow ...
1972 Biological and Toxin
Weapons Convention (BTWC)
● Limits quantities of biological agents
retained
● Permits use of age...
SovietUnion/
Russia
Significant research programme on
biological warfare, extent of which is
unknown.
? Weaponisation of a...
UNSCOM in Iraq
Inspections revealed:
● Programme started 1974
● Weaponization of: anthrax; botulinal
toxin; aflatoxin
● Wo...
South Africa – Project
Coast
Limited outcome.
Assassination weapons:
● Anthrax – contaminated cigarettes
● Botulinal toxin...
Osho a.k.a.
Bhagwan Shree
Rajneesh
Epidemic curve for 22 cases of bioterrorism-
related anthrax, United States, 2001
= inhalational anthrax case
0
2
4
6
17-S...
Laws preventing the use of
chemical and biological
warfare
CW BW
1925 - Geneva Protocol  
1975 – Biological & Toxins 
W...
Are the laws enough?
Any violations?
Yes
Italy CW in Ethiopia 1935-40
Iraq CW in Iran 1983-88
Russia BW Research 1975-92
(...
Useful websites
• www.opcw.org
• http://multiple.kcvs.ca
• http://www.unog.ch/bwc/meeting
52
The next 10 years
– Existing stockpiles of CW destroyed
– Inspections will move from monitoring CW
destruction to polic...
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?
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Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?

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This presentation was given by Professor Alastair Hay (University of Leeds) at a meeting on Ethics and Risk, organised by the HEA STEM Special Interest Group in teaching ethics to bioscience students. The meeting was held at the University of Northampton in March 2013.

Warning: this series of slides contains some unpleasant images of the effects of chemical and/oe biological weapons

Published in: Education, Business
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Why bother about chemical and biological weapons?

  1. 1. 1 Why bother about chemical and biological weapons ? Teaching Ethics to Bioscience Students Northampton 26 March 2013 Alastair Hay
  2. 2. 2 Chemical Weapons Convention: Educational and Outreach Challenges • Relevance to and ownership by students and teachers in many countries – “CWC is someone else’s responsibility” • Concerns of negative impact on public image of chemistry • Knowledge base of chemistry teachers at all levels about the issue • Little formal attention to ethical issues in curriculum • Remoteness of CWC structure to educational system
  3. 3. 3 Approach • Place chemical and biological weapons in a larger context – multi-use chemicals • Start with beneficial aspects of multi-use chemicals, move to mis-use and abuse • Target chemists and chemistry educators in the domain of influence of IUPAC and OPCW • Pilot materials with educators, evaluate from the beginning to refine materials and approaches • Deliver materials over the web • Address language issues • Enlist partners for broad dissemination
  4. 4. 4 Multiple Uses of Chemicals A Chemical Plant
  5. 5. 5 Multiple Uses of Chemicals A Chemical Plant
  6. 6. 6 Misuse of Chemicals ephedra extracts banned as diet supplements in several countries Triple Stack Epehedra Caffeine Aspirin (ASA)
  7. 7. 7 CH CH CH3 NH CH3 OH pseudoephedrine (cough suppressant) CH2 CH CH3 NH CH3 methamphetamine (crystal meth)
  8. 8. 8 Production of Crystal Meth
  9. 9. 9 Export Industry
  10. 10. 10 Multiple-Use Chemicals • Choices about the beneficial use, misuse, or abuse of these multi-use materials lie in our hands.
  11. 11. 11 Role for Science Education? Break-Out Session • Access to information • Diversion of readily available materials • Whose responsibility? • Understanding and owning ethical responsibility • Other examples
  12. 12. 12 S CH2CH2OHHOCH2CH2 thiodiglycol S CH2CH2ClClCH2CH2 mustard gas Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Chemical & Biological Weapons Water-based dyes in cloth manufacturing industry, including rural industries in developing countries
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. 14
  15. 15. 15
  16. 16. 16
  17. 17. 17
  18. 18. 21
  19. 19. 22
  20. 20. 23
  21. 21. 24
  22. 22. 25
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  24. 24. 27 Chemical and Biological Weapons: Role for Science Education ? • Access to information • Diversion of readily available materials • Whose responsibility? • Understanding and owning ethical responsibility • Other examples
  25. 25. 28 Where we are now • Project complete • http://www.iupac.org/multiple-uses-of- chemicals • Material – text and pictures • Also 4 background papers in 6 languages • Room for more • Comments welcome! – Alastair Hay (a.w.m.hay@leeds.ac.uk) – Peter Mahaffy (peter.mahaffy@kingsu.ca)
  26. 26. Biological Warfare Catapults, bombs and salad bars
  27. 27. Biological Agents ‘weaponized’ by the US prior to 1969 ● Anthrax ● Venezualan Equine Encephalomyelitis ● Q Fever ● Yellow Fever ● Tularaemia ● Brucellosis ● Rice blast ● Black stem rust of cereals
  28. 28. 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) ● Limits quantities of biological agents retained ● Permits use of agents for peaceful, prophylactic and defence purposes ● No inspections
  29. 29. SovietUnion/ Russia Significant research programme on biological warfare, extent of which is unknown. ? Weaponisation of agents Approx 70 deaths from release of anthrax from military research facility.
  30. 30. UNSCOM in Iraq Inspections revealed: ● Programme started 1974 ● Weaponization of: anthrax; botulinal toxin; aflatoxin ● Work on other bacteria/viruses
  31. 31. South Africa – Project Coast Limited outcome. Assassination weapons: ● Anthrax – contaminated cigarettes ● Botulinal toxin in beer Others: ● Cholera to contaminate water (SWAPO targeted) ● Anti-fertility vaccine for use on black South Africans
  32. 32. Osho a.k.a. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
  33. 33. Epidemic curve for 22 cases of bioterrorism- related anthrax, United States, 2001 = inhalational anthrax case 0 2 4 6 17-Sep 21-Sep 25-Sep 29-Sep 03-O ct 07-O ct 11-O ct 15-O ct 19-O ct 23-O ct 27-O ct 31-O ct 04-Nov 08-Nov 12-Nov 16-Nov Symptom Onset Dates, September - November, 2002 NumberofCases Florida New York City New Jersey Dist. of Columbia Connecticut Envelopes mailed to news media companies, Sept. 18 Envelopes mailed to government leaders, Oct. 9
  34. 34. Laws preventing the use of chemical and biological warfare CW BW 1925 - Geneva Protocol   1975 – Biological & Toxins  Weapon Convention 1997 - Chemical Weapons  Convention 2001? – Protocol to Biological ? & Toxins Weapons Convention
  35. 35. Are the laws enough? Any violations? Yes Italy CW in Ethiopia 1935-40 Iraq CW in Iran 1983-88 Russia BW Research 1975-92 (Offensive use) South BW Research 1981-95? Africa (Offensive use)
  36. 36. Useful websites • www.opcw.org • http://multiple.kcvs.ca • http://www.unog.ch/bwc/meeting
  37. 37. 52 The next 10 years – Existing stockpiles of CW destroyed – Inspections will move from monitoring CW destruction to policing industry – Not making CW is an ethical decision – Explain this to chemists – Develop ethical teaching for chemists and other scientists

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