Accidents Cannot Happen

A federal review of a controversial laboratory being built by Boston University was “not sound and credible” and failed to adequately address the consequences of highly lethal germs escaping from the project, according to a blistering report released yesterday by an independent panel of scientists.

Despite the pointed rebuke, the analysis presented yesterday at a Washington press conference does not have immediate implications for construction of the nearly $200 million Albany Street project that is 70 percent complete.

The lab building, scheduled to open in about a year on BU’s medical school campus, has as its centerpiece a Biosafety Level-4 facility, designed to allow scientists to work with the world’s deadliest germs, including Ebola, plague, and Marburg virus.

from the Boston Globe

The BU Dental School, where faculty gets treated by faculty, is also on Albany Street, directly across from the swiftly rising biolab. Although we understand on an intellectual level that our unease is at the very least premature, we must confess we have not been to the dentist since construction began.  Between the BU bio-hazards in Boston and the residue from the Watertown nuclear reactor in our backyard, we seem to be stuck in an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

We don’t really understand why they need to play with pathogens in the first place. The official line about keeping up our defenses in case of bio-terrorist attack not only ring false, but seems counterintuitive: wouldn’t the presence of so many deadly bio-weapons in the middle of a major American city be but an attractive target for maniacal malfeasors? Why does the damn thing, even if it needs to exist, have to be in the middle of a city anyway? Just so the doctors, technicians and administrators have a shorter commute? For that we are risking panic, plague and pandemic?

As for what to do with the brand-new, $200 million state of the art building across from Boston City Hospital and BU Dental, we are sure there are lots of wards and programs dedicated to killing germs and viruses rather than preserving and playing with them which could use the space…

About dowbrigade

Semi-retired academic from Harvard, Boston University, Fulbright Commission, Universidad Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manta, currently columnist for El Diario de Portoviejo and La Marea de Manta.
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2 Responses to Accidents Cannot Happen

  1. fenix says:

    Thanks for interesting clause

  2. Хороший и самое главное полезный гаджет

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