The Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) Professor Dame Angela McLean has visited Washington DC and Boston to take part in the launch of the US-UK Strategic Dialogue on Biological Security and have discussions with scientists, scientific advisers and companies working on biosecurity.
The Dialogue, announced as part of a joint statement by the Cabinet Office and the White House National Security Council, was signed by UK Deputy National Security Adviser Matt Collins and US Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
Speaking about the Dialogue, Professor Dame Angela McLean said:
“Protecting the UK from biological threats is important for our health and economic resilience. This Strategic Dialogue reaffirms both nations’ commitment to collaborate on biosecurity and reflects a shared ambition to protect our citizens against a growing and increasingly diverse spectrum of threats.”
The launch was accompanied by a roundtable discussion on UK-US science and technology collaboration on biosecurity, the Strategic Dialogue, and national strategies.
In Washington, the GCSA also held meetings with senior scientists in the Department of Homeland Security aimed at learning about the department’s current work and strengthening mutual relationships.
In Boston, Dame Angela visited MIT’s Synthetic Biology Center and Sculpting Evolution Laboratory, MIT-built venture firm The Engine, Boston University’s DAMP Lab, engineering biology foundry Asimov Labs, research organisation Broad Institute, and cloud computing company Akamai. The discussions focused largely on biosecurity, synthetic biology, innovation, the organisations’ work, and the UK Science and Technology Framework. The GCSA also took part in a roundtable discussion on biosecurity challenges and responsible innovation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).