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Corona Viruses and Bats Scenarios: Reinforcing Non-Proliferation Norms in the Disinformation Age

This illustrative cartoons’ scenario takes place in a rural area while a group of researchers in full Personal Protective Equipment “PPE” stand in front of a cave. The researchers are working on an international research project to study zoonotic diseases in bats. At the same time, two villagers are passing by on foot and notice the team. They begin exchanging theories about what is happening.  They then notice a local man standing with the researchers as a companion. The villagers call him to inquire about the researchers’ activities so the local man suggests they speak with the lead researcher to better explain their research study to them.

This work has been prepared to raise awareness on nonproliferation norms in the disinformation age. During and after COVID-19 pandemic, some people started claiming that scientists in certain countries are using their research to build biological weapons or to use animals as a means to transmit zoonotic and infectious diseases to hostile countries.

The scenario was written and edited by senior researchers from the Bio-Safety and Bio-Security Centre at the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) in Amman, Jordan. This work is funded by the Health Security Partners “HSP” (USA) through a challenge grant “Reinforcing Non-Proliferation Norms in the Disinformation Age”.