J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2012-100545
  • Commentary

Commentary on ‘Biodefence and the production of knowledge: rethinking the problem’

  1. Nicholas B King
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nicholas B King, Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University, 3647 Peel St, Montreal, Quebec H3A 1X1, Canada; nicholas.king{at}
  1. Contributors NBK is the sole contributor to this commentary.

  • Received 16 March 2012
  • Accepted 11 April 2012
  • Published Online First 21 May 2012


Buchanan and Kelley provide a sophisticated and thoughtful critique of contemporary discussions of biosecurity. They provide sound critiques of American biodefence institutions, and the general sense of imminent threat underlying the rush to fund biodefence. However, the essay consistently misrepresents the breadth and depth of scholarly research on the ethics and politics of biodefence.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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