NPR : News

Filed Under:

Bird Flu Scientist Has Applied For Permit To Export Research

The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission today to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal.

The Dutch government has asserted that the studies, which describe how to make bird flu virus more contagious, fall under regulations that control the export of weapons technology.

But Ron Fouchier of Erasmus Medical Center says his lab's research is basic science that is exempt under the law.

He feels the government's actions amount to censorship and has previously has said he did not want to apply for an export permit, because it would set a precedent. He had even considered submitting the paper to the journal Science without seeking permission, even if it meant suffering the consequences, which could include jail and a large fine.

Fouchier held out hope that the government might lift the export control restriction after a meeting on Monday at The Hague to discuss the matter. But on Tuesday, by email, he told NPR that "we have been informed we need an export permit."

He said that he and the senior authors of the paper, along with the board of directors of his medical center, decided to apply for a permit while simultaneously disputing the obligation to comply with it.

Now that the application has been submitted, it is time for the Dutch government to decide what to do. "From the discussions over the last days, we got the impression that it will be granted," wrote Fouchier. "We have also been informed that the request will be handled quickly."

While not exactly sure how long it might take, he hopes to hear something after the weekend.

"This is of course a compromise solution, that will hopefully prevent escalation of the matter, while we still move towards publication," wrote Fouchier. "And nobody will end up in jail."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Key & Peele' Is Ending. Here Are A Few Of Its Code Switch-iest Moments

From Luther the "anger translator" for President Obama to everyday situations, Key and Peele have always put code-switching from and center in their comedy show.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.