Managing biological risks requires an organizational culture that holistically ensures the biosafety, biosecurity, and biocontainment of infectious disease agents and toxins, in addition to conducting science in a responsible manner, complying with relevant laws, regulations, guidelines, and policies, as well as emphasizing norms, values, and beliefs of the entire life sciences profession. Drawing upon the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel’s (FESAP’s) 2014 recommendation to “strengthen a culture that emphasizes biosafety, laboratory biosecurity, and responsible conduct in the life sciences,” we undertook a comprehensive literature review of the culture of biosafety, biosecurity, and responsible conduct in the life sciences, including metrics by which to evaluate interventions at the organizational level. We identified 4031 unique citations published from January 2001 to January 2017 by searching the MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Global Health databases. In addition, a subset of 326 articles was reviewed in full. We found that while there were discussions in the literature about specific elements of culture (management systems, leadership and/or personnel behavior, beliefs and attitudes, or principles for guiding decisions and behaviors), there was a general lack of integration of these concepts, as well as limited information about specific indicators or metrics and the effectiveness of training or similar interventions. We concluded that life scientists seeking to foster a culture of biosafety and biosecurity should learn from the substantial literature in analogous areas such as nuclear safety and security culture, high-reliability organizations, and the responsible conduct of research, among others.
Applied Biosafety – SAGE
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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