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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Promoting better biorisk management


Science saves lives. Safe and successful scientific research helps protect the nation and the world from infectious diseases, terrorism, and environmental changes. As scientists conduct this research and create new products, they need to remain aware of issues and federal regulations related to biosafety, biosecurity and biorisk management. 

ASPR launched S3: Science, Safety, Security website so that 17 U.S. government departments and agencies could collaborate on biorisk management education. The site promotes communication, transparency, and awareness about biosafety, biocontainment, and laboratory biosecurity issues and activities in laboratories. 

Promoting education and transparency

Over the past six years, S3 has evolved to become the central resource for distributing United States government materials related to biorisk management, ranging from introductory overviews to the most up-to-date policies on Gain of Function and Dual Use Research of Concern. Involvement from a wide range of government departments and agencies has enabled S3 to provide information on a variety of resources and help direct users to the right information from across the government.   

Resources from the S3 site are now in use both inside and outside the U.S. government. The Law and Policy section indexes existing legal frameworks around the life sciences, but also provides an introduction to the U.S. system to put those resources in context. This introduction has been used by other departments and agencies in international outreach and is referenced regularly across the government as an informative resource for newcomers to life sciences policy. The site also is referenced by the American Biological Safety Association and the American Society for Microbiology as a resource for their members. 

The Biorisk Management section contains introductory information on biosafety, biosecurity, and biocontainment, and links to more advanced resources across the U.S. government. Materials in the Biorisk Management section have been used by university professors as resources for students new to laboratories. 

Helping scientists navigate a complex system

In 2012, S3 became the primary location for posting U.S. government policies on Dual Use Research of Concern, beginning with the internal government policy and continuing through the current updates to provide information for research institutions covered by the 2014 institutional policy. S3 also hosts information on the Federal Experts Security Advisory Panel, gain-of-function research policies, and efforts to enhance national biosafety and biosecurity frameworks. 

As the United States continues to focus on improving biosafety and biosecurity in our laboratories, S3 continues to evolve to meet the needs of both the scientific community and interagency partners. 

  • This page last reviewed: December 13, 2016