Living with Catastrophic Terrorism: Can Science and Technology Make the U.S. Safer?

author: Lewis M. Branscomb, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
published: July 26, 2010,   recorded: September 2002,   views: 103
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Description

After the terrorists attack of September 11, three Academies-the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine-sponsored a major study of the role that science and technology might play in countering the threat of catastrophic terrorism in the United States. This study involved a committee of 24 experts, co-chaired by Lewis Branscomb and Richard Klausner, and was supported by 95 others on specialized panels.

The 400-page report was presented to Congress and to Governor Ridge, President Bush's choice for Director of Homeland Security in June 2002. It was published by the National Academies Press under the title "Making America Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism."

This lecture summarizes the output of this project, addresses its influence on legislation for a Department of Homeland Security, and points to the areas of public policy that require the most urgent attention. Professor Branscomb also presents his own expanded views on some issues in the report.

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