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Migratory Birds and Zoonotic Diseases Scenarios: Reinforcing Non-Proliferation Norms in the Disinformation Age

This illustrative cartoons’ scenario takes place in a water reserve where an international group of researchers collect migratory birds in the context of a research project to address health related issues. At the same time, a group of tourists tours the reserve with a guide, and the group watches the team. The tourists become eager to ask the guide about the researchers and their work. Ali, a local person that works inside the reserve, attempts to explain to the visitors what they are working on. Ali then leads the tourists to speak with a member of the project team who is running an awareness campaign and handing out brochures about bird diseases to locals and visitors to the reserve. The researcher clarify to the tourists the disinformation related to their research activities.

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 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”.