Expert on chemical and biological weapons to give a public lecture on biosecurity at UC Santa Cruz on Tuesday, April 30

Graham Pearson, retired director general of the United Kingdom Chemical and Biological Defense Establishment, will visit the University of California, Santa Cruz, this month and next as a Regents' Lecturer. During his visit, from April 29 to May 10, Pearson will give a public lecture on biosecurity, meet with UCSC faculty and students, and take part in seminars and colloquia.

On Tuesday, April 30, Pearson will give a public lecture on "Biosecurity: Opportunities for the U.S.A." The talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Earth and Marine Sciences Building, room B206.

Pearson's main interests are in strengthening international efforts to counter the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. In recent years, he has focused his attention on the ongoing negotiations to strengthen the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention through a legally binding protocol. He has written numerous documents in support of this effort.

His 1999 book, The UNSCOM Saga: Chemical and Biological Weapons Non-Proliferation, details the activities of the UN special commission set up after the Gulf War to enforce the peace terms calling for destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Currently a visiting professor in international security at the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, U.K., Pearson retired from the British Ministry of Defense in 1995. He is a member of the Research Council of the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute and is chairman of an International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Working Party on Evaluation of Chemical Weapon Destruction Technologies. The latter group recently completed a major report providing a critical evaluation of the technologies that have been used to destroy chemical weapons.

Pearson's visit to UCSC as a Regents' Lecturer is sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Crown College, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies (CGIRS), and the Science Communication Program.