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45: Dr. Filippa Lentzos on biological threats in the 21st century

February 19, 2021


Last year, 2020, marked the 45th anniversary of the Biological Weapons Convention that was negotiated at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It was the first multilateral disarmament treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons. Last year also saw the outbreak of a major pandemic that humanity is grappling to bring under control.

In episode 45, we meet with Dr. Filippa Lentzos, who holds a joint appointment as Senior Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies and the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London, and who is also a regular participant as NGO Coordinator at meetings of the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva. Dr. Lentzos explains more about her work and her book Biological Threats in the 21st Century, sharing her thoughts on multilateralism for security in this field, providing insights on how to prepare for and respond to outbreaks of disease, and giving us glimpses of emerging technologies. Underlying the conversation is the theme of the importance of moral frameworks. 


Learn more about Dr. Lentzos and her work:

Biological Threats in the 21st Century (Book):

United Nations Biological Weapons Convention: 

Access the episode transcript here:


Speakers: Dr. Filippa Lentzos and Amy Smith

Host: Amy Smith & Karen Lee 

Editor/Producer: Karen Lee 

Images: Dr. Filippa Lentzos

Graphics, social media designs and transcript: Karen Lee 

Recorded & produced by the UN Library & Archives Geneva 

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