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One hundred years after the first chemical weapons attack, leaders in International Security discuss the risks they pose today.


On 22 April 1915, the World saw the first large-scale use of chemical weapons at Ieper in Belgium during World War I.

This marked a significant change in warfare and has affected millions of people around the world and is still affecting people to this day.

To mark the anniversary the University is publishing a unique and thought-provoking public lecture given by Emeritus Professor of International Security Malcolm Dando and Dr Michael Crowley, Project Co-ordinator for Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project.

The lecture, which was filmed last month and received positive feedback, looked at whether the search for incapacitating chemical agent weapons could start a new arms race.

Professor Dando explains: "One hundred years ago, the first large-scale use of lethal chemical weapons on the Western Front took place in Belgium. Although work has been done to rid the world of the deadly stock of chemical weapons since then, do advances in neuroscience still pose a very real threat?

“This lecture discusses the risks and the potential loopholes, and the importance of advances in neuroscience being used solely for peaceful purposes as the scientists involved would surely intend.

Professor Dando uses present day examples in the lecture to demonstrate his research and the importance of acting now, “The recent use of lethal chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that chemical weapons could be a threat again, particularly as advances in neuroscience might tempt some people to believe that so-called non-lethal chemical weapons are permissible under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“We should take the opportunity of this 100 year anniversary to redouble our efforts to ensure that this potential loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention is closed down by states parties and advances in neuroscience are used solely for peaceful purposes.

Professor Malcolm Dando is an academic in the University of Bradford’s Peace Studies department. Bradford has the world’s largest university centre for the study of peace and conflict, with a world-class reputation for peace research.

The University of Bradford understands it plays a key role in the emergence of the knowledge economy to tackle some of the challenges of the 21st Century. Through events and lectures it aims to share knowledge and engage in conversations with the public on some of these challenges.

To view the lecture visit

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