This paper was given at the XVI Amaldi Conference on problems of global security, held in Trieste between 18- 20 November 2004, by Nick Green, Science Policy Manager (physical science and international security). The Amaldi meetings were initiated by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in 1988, to bring together scientific academies from across the world to discuss issues of international security and arms control. Initially the conferences concentrated on control of nuclear weapons, but they have adapted to changes in global security to include topics such as biological and chemical weapons and computer security. The Royal Society has been actively involved with the Amaldi Conferences since they began.
This paper summarises the Royal Society work on reducing the threat of biological weapons and how this has contributed to the UK Governments preparations for various Biological Weapons Convention meetings, particularly the 2005 Annual Meeting. This paper outlines how this area of work has developed from 1994 to 2004. This work has taken many different forms including major policy studies, policy statements, responses to Government documents, attending and arranging both formal and informal meetings, and publishing editorials.