National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity public consultation meeting


Invitation to Attend a Public Consultation on Guidance for Enhancing Personnel Reliability and Strengthening the Culture of Responsibility at the Local Level

On January 5, 2011, The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), an advisory committee to the Federal Government, is hosting a public consultation to obtain input from the scientific community regarding strategies for enhancing personnel reliability and strengthening the culture of responsibility at research facilities that conduct research with dangerous pathogens.  The discussion will inform NSABB deliberations and ultimately the development of an NSABB report on the topic.


The meeting will be held on January 5, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. –  6:00 p.m. at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency, 7400 Wisconsin Avenue (One Bethesda Metro Center), Bethesda, MD.


Brief background:  In light of heightened concerns about insider threats at facilities that conduct research with highly pathogenic agents, the NSABB was tasked with advising on ways to enhance personnel reliability among individuals with access to select agents.  In its 2009 report on this topic, the NSABB recommended a number of ways to strengthen personnel reliability, including by enhancing the culture of responsibility that currently exists within the scientific community, particularly with respect to biosecurity and dual use research.  The US government has asked the NSABB to expand on its general recommendations in this regard and to develop specific guidance that reflects broad input from the scientific community.


Toward this end, the NSABB is seeking input from the scientific community on practices that will strengthen personnel reliability and enhance the culture of responsibility regarding biosecurity.  This input will inform NSABB deliberations on these topics and contribute to the development of guidance that is sound, effective, and feasible.


Meeting description and information:  The meeting will consist of five discussion sessions:  1) Engaged institutional leadership for promoting biosecurity, personnel reliability, and a culture of responsibility; 2)  Encouraging biosecurity awareness and promoting responsible conduct in the laboratory through communication, lab rapport, and a strong sense of team; 3) Peer reporting of concerning behaviors; 4) Addressing impediments to disclosure of negative information about job candidates; and 5) Assessment of effectiveness and impact of practices for strengthening personnel reliability and culture of responsibilityEach session will include remarks from panelists as well as ample time for input from meeting attendees.  Specific discussion questions are noted on the meeting agenda, which can be accessed at


The meeting is open to the public and is free of charge.  Please note that this meeting will not be webcast.  Pre-registration is encouraged to ensure that we can accommodate all attendees. Please pre-register at