Science and Technology Committee

No. 8 - Session 2002-03

19 December 2002


The Scientific Response to Terrorism

The Science and Technology Committee is to conduct an inquiry into how UK science is contributing to the country's defence against chemical or biological terrorist attack. 

The Committee wishes to find out what research is being undertaken, how it is coordinated, and how it is being harnessed to protect the UK population from chemical, radiological or biological terrorist attacks.

In particular, the Committee wishes to address the following:

●    How countermeasures against biological, chemical and radiological terrorism are informed by science and technology.

●    How the surveillance of dangerous chemicals and pathogens is coordinated, both nationally and internationally, and what policies are in place to respond.

●    The public communications policy on the threat and response to biological, chemical and radiological terrorism.

●    What research relevant to chemical, biological and radiological threats is being undertaken in the UK, and what controls are placed on it.

●    The need for an ethical code of conduct for scientists working with dangerous substances or pathogens.

The Committee would welcome written evidence from interested organisations and individuals addressing these points.  Evidence should be submitted by Monday 24 February 2003. Oral evidence sessions will be held in March and April.

Evidence should be sent in hard copy to the Clerk of the Science and Technology Committee, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.  Please send an electronic version also, in Word format, via e-mail to or on disk.  Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Further information on the work of the Committee can be obtained from Committee staff on 020 7219 2793/4.

Previous press notices and publications are available on the Committee's internet homepage:

Note for Editors

●    Under the terms of Standing Order No. 152 the Committee is empowered to examine the "expenditure, policy and administration of the Office of Science and Technology and its associated public bodies". The Committee was appointed on 12 November 2001.