On 14 April 2016, the Joint Committee held an informational event on implementing the recommendations of the DFG and Leopoldina on the handling of security-relevant research. The event was directed primarily at the contact persons named by the German research institutions as responsible for the handling of security-relevant research. Additional participants included other members of staff of German universities and non-university research institutions as well as representatives from the political sphere, the press and industry.
The chairpersons of the Joint Committee, Bärbel Friedrich and Frank Allgöwer, explained the dual-use dilemma and the responsibilities and work of the Joint Committee. Reinhard Merkel then spoke about the complex criteria involved in the sophisticated ethical evaluation of security-relevant research. Jochen Taupitz and Alfons Bora then talked about the methodology and powers of ethics committees. Jochen Taupitz reported on conventional clinical ethics committees and the possibility of expanding their range of responsibilities to include security-relevant research. Alfons Bora explained the process of establishing KEFs by presenting the model statutes drawn up by the Joint Committee to aid this process.
Kathryn Nixdorff spoke on raising awareness in research and education and of the problems associated with the dual use of research findings. After the lunch break, participants looked at case studies. Representatives from various institutions spoke about how their institutions handle the dual-use dilemma and reported on progress in establishing KEFs.