RealNews

Science journals to remove information helpful to terrorists

Editors of the world’s leading scientific journals announced Saturday they would delete details from published studies that might help terrorists make biological weapons. The editors, joined by several prominent scientists, said they would not censor scientific data or adopt a top-secret classification system similar to that used by the military and government intelligence agencies. But they said scientists working in the post-Sept. 11 world must face the dismaying paradox that many of their impressive breakthroughs can be used for sinister purposes. The new editing methods will be voluntary and will differ among the 32 publications and scientific associations that agreed to the effort. Those include the journals Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. Most major advancements – from decoding the human genome to the cloning of Dolly the sheep – are revealed to the world through those journals. The new policy emerged from a Jan. 9 meeting at the National Academy of Sciences, where researchers and journal editors reviewed potentially sensitive studies. They unveiled their agreement at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Full Story

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