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13:00 - 14:00 12 January 2015

Otto Wolff Lecture series 2015: Ethical alternatives to experiments to create potential pandemic pathogens

Location

Kennedy Lecture Theatre | Institute of Child Health (link Map)
30 Guilford Street | London | WC1N 1EH | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Student

A growing trend in experimental virology has been the modification of influenza viruses that are antigenically novel to, and virulent in humans, such that these variant viruses are readily transmissible in mammals, including ferrets which are thought to be the best animal model for influenza infection. Novel, contagious, virulent viruses are potential pandemic pathogens in that their accidental or malevolent release into the human population could cause a pandemic. This talk will describe the purported benefits of such studies, arguing that these are overstated; estimate the magnitude of the risk they create, argue for the superiority of alternative scientific approaches on both safety and scientific grounds, and propose an ethical framework in which such experiments should be evaluated.

Speaker: Prof Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Host: Prof David Goldblatt, Deputy Director (NHS Engagement)

Refreshments from 12.40pm


Contact

Nicole Hofmans
Please email | ich.director@ucl.ac.uk


Flu