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Living with Catastrophic Terrorism: Can Science and Technology Make the US Safer?

09/20/2002 4:00 PM 6-120
Lewis Branscomb, Professor Emeritus, Public Policy and Corporate Management, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

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.

About the Speaker(s): Lewis M. Branscomb is Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management (emeritus) at Harvard University. He is emeritus director of Harvard's Science Technology and Public Policy Program in the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a member of the Center's Board of Directors. Dr. Branscomb received the BA in physics, summa cum laude, from Duke University in 1945 and PhD in physics from Harvard in 1949. He is a recipient of the Vannevar Bush Award of the National Science Board, the Arthur Bueche Award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Gold Medal of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Okawa Prize in Communications and Informatics. He received the Centennial Medal of the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2002. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from sixteen universities and is an honorary associate of the Engineering Academy of Japan.

Host(s): School of Engineering, Engineering Systems Division

Tape #: #T12945

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MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated 2 years ago

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December 12, 2011 16:35
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