On Chemical Weapons

The social responsability of scientists

By Frederico Carvalho

Vice-president of the WFSW

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……The deliberate use of toxic chemicals to destroy human lives or cause the death of other living organisms has a long history and has taken many forms. Such chemicals were used in theatres of war against military forces and civilian populations; as a means to carry out genocides or to eliminate specific groups of human beings; to fight armed dissident or terrorist groups. More recently, and especially since the second half of the 20th century with the advancement of science and chemical technologies, significant developments occurred in the agents used for the aforementioned ends. It is particularly worrying that such developments continue to take place using increasingly sophisticated technical and scientific means. An area of particular concern is that of so-called “non-lethal” chemical agents which are described as “incapacitating” and supposedly designed to “maintain law and order”……..