Prickly Research is the consultancy of Edward Hammond, a researcher and writer active on policy issues related to biodiversity, agricultural genetic resources, infectious disease, laboratory biosafety, and intellectual property.
The name relates to the fact that the consultancy's work is often a thorn in the side of its research subjects, typically multinational corporations, universities, and government agencies.
Edward Hammond's bold public interest research has been profiled in Science magazine, the New York Times, and elsewhere. He has authored articles for the British Medical Journal, New Scientist, and Biosecurity & Bioterrorism. He is experienced with federal and state open records law in the United States.
Prickly Research is based in Austin, Texas.
I can usually be found hanging around at the intersection of biotechnology and policy. You might have heard of my work in relation to biopiracy (again), "terminator" technology, the "gene drive files", the gay bomb, other, more real, (bio)chemical "non-lethal" weapons, biodefense lab controversies, and biological threat assessment run amuck, including the question of smallpox virus stocks.
My current (late 2018) research interests include applying access and benefit sharing principles to use of digital sequence information in commercial biological research. I am also interested in conflict of interest among technical experts with United Nations appointments in biodiversity, health, and agriculture. Finally, I carefully follow questions of benefit sharing in relation to pathogens, particularly influenza and other potentially pandemic viruses.
As of late 2018, I serve on the Convention on Biological Diversity's Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Digital Sequence Information and as one (of two) civil society representatives in the Working Group to Enhance the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. I am also actively involved in consultations on implementation of the WHO Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework.