Welcoming David Relman to the Science and Security Board

By Halley Posner | April 4, 2022

The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is delighted to announce its newest member, David Relman, effective immediately. 

Relman is the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in Medicine, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He was an early pioneer in the modern study of the human indigenous microbiota (microbiome), and his current research work focuses on assembly, diversity, stability, and resilience of human microbial communities. Relman served as President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Among policy-relevant activities in biological security and emerging infections, he was a founding member of the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity, and currently serves on the Intelligence Community Studies Board at the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and is an in-coming member of the Defense Science Board at the U.S. Department of Defense. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. 

“David Relman’s breadth and depth of knowledge in microbiology and immunology will be invaluable to the Science and Security Board as a whole, and I very much look forward to working with him” said Daniel Holz, co-chair of the Board.  

“The Bulletin has been increasing its focus on and investment in biological risk and David will ensure we continue building on our position of strength” said President and CEO Rachel Bronson.  

The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board is composed of a select group of globally recognized leaders with a specific focus on nuclear risk, climate change, and/or disruptive technologies. It provides the organization with an objective external perspective on trends and issues in these fields. Relman joins Asha George, Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, and Suzet McKinney, Principal and Director of Life Sciences for Sterling Bay, as members of the Board’s bio-leadership. Responsibilities include serving as expert advisors to the Bulletin, setting the time of the Doomsday Clock, and tracking trends in global security.


As the Russian invasion of Ukraine shows, nuclear threats are real, present, and dangerous

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