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Terrorism, Globalization and Fear: Physics in the 21st Century Irving A. Lerch The American Physical Society

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Presentation on theme: "Terrorism, Globalization and Fear: Physics in the 21st Century Irving A. Lerch The American Physical Society"— Presentation transcript:

1 Terrorism, Globalization and Fear: Physics in the 21st Century Irving A. Lerch The American Physical Society


3 Transforming US Science

4 Evolution and Communication of Science and Technology


6 influences Formal channels of exchange

7 Examples of Interdependencies Global Climate Change –Quantum mechanics (physics) Photochemistry (quantum chemistry) –Atmospheric chemistry (physical chemistry) »CFCs, greenhouse gasses Biomedical Imaging –Nuclear magnetic resonance (physics) Physical chemistry –Mathematical image reconstruction »Physical chemistry (gradient field reconstruction)

8 International Collaboration Among Physics Communities

9 a handful of critical factors are highly and positively correlated with the success of a nations innovation system, including: the size of the labor force dedicated to R&D and other technically oriented work the amount of investment directed at R&D the resources devoted to higher education the degree to which national policy encourages investment in innovation and commercialization The New Challenge to Americas Prosperity: Findings from the Innovation Index--1999

10 International R&D expenditures and R&D as a percentage of GDP: 1981–98 United Year States Japan Germany France Kingdom Italy Canada Total R&D expenditures in billions of constant 1992 U.S. dollars NA NA 38.6 NA NA

11 R&D as a percentage of gross domestic product Sweden3.85Russian Federation0.95Canada1.60Colombia0.41 Japan2.92Venezuela0.89Belgium1.58Argentina0.38 South Korea2.89Spain0.86Iceland1.56Panama0.38 Finland2.78Brazil (1996)0.76Austria1.52Malaysia0.34 Switzerland (1996)2.74Poland0.76Singapore1.47Bolivia0.33 United States2.60 Hungary0.73Ireland1.43Mexico0.42 Germany2.31Cuba0.70Czech Rep.1.19 Philippines0.21 Israel2.30South Africa0.69Slovak Rep.1.18Thailand 0.12 France2.23China0.65Costa Rica1.13Hong Kong0.10 Netherlands (1996)2.09Portugal0.65New Zealand 1.10Ecuador0.08 Denmark2.03Chile0.64Italy1.08Uruguay0.42 China (Taipei)1.92Indonesia (1995)0.50 Norway1.68Turkey0.45 United Kingdom1.87Greece (1993)0.48Australia1.68

12 Changes in share of Federal Academic research obligations, by field:

13 Globalization of U.S. industrial R&D

14 Growth trends in scientific and technical publications by region: 1986–99

15 Scientific publications: regional share of world output

16 International coauthorship of scientific papers

17 Industrial R&D spending flows of U.S. and foreign affiliates, by world region: 1998

18 Natural sciences and engineering doctoral degrees

19 NASAs Horizon U.S. Comptroller General David Walker testified that NASA "is finding it particularly difficult to hire people with engineering, science, and information technology skills." Within five years, he stated, about a quarter of NASA's scientists and engineers will be eligible for retirement, while "the pipeline of people with science and engineering skills is shrinking."

20 C scale of equipment or investment is large C project is global C unique expertise is located elsewhere C mission of funding agency is to support international cooperation ENHANCED PRODUCTIVITY OF SELF-ORGANIZED COLLABORATIONS 1997 Rand Study by C.S. Wagner: International Cooperation in Research and Development:An Inventory of U.S. Government Spending and a a Framework for Measuring Benefits [] ~$3.5 billion distributed through government programs 74% of which goes to promote collaboration in science.

21 Investments by region Rand Study for fy 95

22 Productivity and Telecommunications Productivity gain of a group = gain contributed by each new partner - the costs and impediments P 1 (n) = g 1 n(n-1) - c 1 n 2 (n-1) B. Drossel, Simple Model for the Formation of a Complex Organism, Physical Review Letters, Volume 82, Number 25, 21, June, 1999, pages

23 Productivity of small groups Productivity of large groups

24 Productivity of large and small collaborating groups--dependence on large group connectivity Productivity as a function of small group connectivity

25 Productivity of 5 small groups of optimum size Productivity of 5 small groups of low productivity

26 Conclusions: Small groups with relatively high connectivity costs may still make significant contributions It is possible to achieve alliances which improve total productivity without incurring excessive connectivity costs It may be possible to avoid stratification of telecommunities based on access

27 COSTED Report Inferences and Recommendations Mobility cannot and should not be arrested; There is a need to keep a systematic global watch on trends in the movement of S&T Professionals, that may help developing countries to evolve their national framework of human resource development; Mechanisms be created for retaining and making the best use of exceptional talents within the country; Favorable environment should be created for attracting resources for world-class education and research institutions in developing countries to retain talented professionals; and programs to attract nationals overseas either temporarily or permanently, should be formulated.




31 Download history, Feb/99-July/01 excluding archival downloads from Physical Review Online Archive End-of-year peak Start of program Early enrollment

32 Information Transfer as a Function of Bandwidth-- user migration to faster access Jakob Nielson (

33 Number of Users


35 Instruments Impeding Free Exchange: The U.S. Armamentarium –Sensitive Countries List Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, etc… –Critical Technologies Dual use, encryption, combat boots, etc… –Economic and Military Embargoes Cuba, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, etc… –Economic Proscriptions Risk for illegal immigration –National Security Risk of stealing our secrets –Criminal Wants to come to do evil Visa denials

36 LISTS State Sponsors of Terrorism list (Cuba, Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) Non-Proliferation Export Control Posts (China, India, Israel, Pakistan, and Russia) Technology Alert list contains 16 categories (munitions, warheads and projectiles, nuclear, missiles, aircraft and missile propulsion, navigation and guidance, chemical engineering and biotechnology, remote imaging and reconnaissance, advanced computers, materials, cryptography, lasers and directed energy systems, acoustic and sensors technologies, marine technology, robotics, ceramics, high performance metals and alloys)

37 Making the Nation Safer the Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism In particular, because much of the research performed at universities will be essential for protecting the nation, there will be increasing pressure to keep critical knowledge out of the hands of people who might aid (or actually become) terrorists. This conflict between science and security is a difficult issue.

38 IPASS of approximately 30 million foreign visitors who enter the US each year, roughly a half million come as students on F, M and J visas. And approximately 175,000 of these come to study science jointly directed by State and Justice? (pending bills would remove visas from State) will be advisory only with no direct authority over the issuance of visas since the law imposes such authority on State and Justice (presently) will evaluate candidates for visas whose course of study might give them information or skills that are "unique" to the US and its closest allies and which information or skills could be used against the US "Patriot Law" has already authorized the implementation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to monitor those who come to the US under the Student Exchange and Visitor Program (SEVP)

39 Instruments Impeding Free Exchange: U.S. Denials to Travel of U.S. Scientists Treasury Department Licenses for Travel to Cuba –General License Requirements –Special License Requirements Permission for Travel of US Government Scientists to Sensitive Countries –Denial for Permission to attend Indian Conferences


41 The dynamics of secrecy

42 Trends at the interface of National Security & S&T (thanks to Pat Falcone and Eileen Vergino, CGSR workshops) Security increasingly dependent upon science and technology superiority and agility Tension between culture of science & culture of security Inherent dual use of technologies more significant Technology will empower ever smaller actors to achieve greater absolute thresholds of threats Technology enables changes in regional power balances The inability of some to adapt to technologic change likely to be destabilizing International system increasingly interconnected and integrated, facilitated in part by technology

43 National Security Trends Threats come from smaller states, sub-national groups and/or coalitions of these Defense base is increasingly a commercial industrial base Threat technologies will be based upon commercial off-the-shelf products (COTS) Law enforcement & weapons controls will be weak in fragile & failed states Compelling ideologies likely to be destabilizing Security alliances and trade alliances form new base of emerging security architecture

44 Making the Nation Safer the Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism: Immediate Applications of Existing Technologies 1. Develop and utilize robust systems for protection, control, and accounting of nuclear weapons and special nuclear materials at their sources. 2. Ensure production and distribution of known treatments and preventatives for pathogens. 3. Design, test, and install coherent layered security systems for all transportation modes, particularly shipping containers and vehicles that contain large quantities of toxic or flammable materials. 4. Protect energy distribution services by improving security for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and providing physical protection for key elements of the electric-power grid. 5. Reduce the vulnerability and improve the effectiveness of air filtration in ventilation systems. 6. Deploy known technologies and standards for allowing emergency responders to reliably communicate with each other. 7. Ensure that trusted spokespersons will be able to inform the public promptly and with technical authority whenever the technical aspects of an emergency are dominant in the publics concerns.

45 S&T impacts on National Security Enhanced robustness of infrastructures Monitoring of WMD and associated activities Process engineering to remove hazardous intermediates Assessing the implications of S&T innovations and revolutions Interdiction of distributed networks Intel tools to detect, warn, diagnose and interdict Living with and managing complex systems (stable and unstable) Understanding and public discourse on national security Micro- and nano-scale self-replicating systems Engineered biological threats Cognitive science and mind control by external means

46 The DoE Labs: A Case in Point

47 Weapons and non-weapons Operations: A Sketch Snapshot: DOE Weapons Operations Percentage of Budget: Roughly $6 billion, a third of the Departments $18 billion FY99 budget. Allocation of Weapons-Related Budget: Defense Programs $4.4 billion Nonproliferation/Nat. Sec. 0.7 Fissile Material Disposal 0.2 Naval Reactors 0.7 Number of Contract Employees: 34,190 Number of Contract Employees Per Lab Los Alamos 6,900 Sandia 7,500 L. Livermore 6,400 Pantex 2,860 Oak Ridge (Y-12) 5,500 Kansas City 3,150 Nevada Test Site 1,880 SOURCE: DEPT. OF ENERGY FIELD FACTBOOK, MAY 1998

48 The International Connection: A Sketch The 3 weapons laboratories--Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Sandia--received some 6,398 foreign visitors or assignees (stays from 30 days to 2 years) in 1998 including 1,824 visitors from sensitive countries. In addition, employees traveled to foreign laboratories or scientific conferences encompassing 5,799 trips to include 1,814 trips to sensitive countries. Result: enhanced access to the 70-75% unclassified work needed to progress in weapons-related research, open scientific research, and cooperative international programs.

49 The Dangers to the National Interest Stifle vital international exchange –non-defense research –defense-related research –visitors programs Impair lab productivity and morale –create suspicion and resentment –institutionalize racism Impose cosmetic solutions while ignoring the real threat –focus on ethnicity rather than deed –failure to implement meaningful reform Denigrate standards of justice and equal protection Sacrifice the future –recruitment –loss of experienced researchers –declines in appointments and visitors

50 The Introduction of More Restrictive Measures New classifications for material already in the public domain. Special identity badges for foreign nationals. New restrictions on access to unclassified facilities. Attempts to place non-classified facilities under restrictive controls. Increased dependence on procedures of doubtful value-- ie, polygraph testing. New and more draconian classification procedures that threaten to restrict the distribution of scientific information. Complex management schemes that further dissipate lines of responsibility and authority.

51 The Hart/Rudman Panels Reminder: AN INTERNATIONAL ENTERPRISE –U.S. research laboratories have always had a tradition of drawing on immigrant talent. Perhaps the first foreign–born contributor to our nations nuclear program was Albert Einstein. In his letter to President Roosevelt on August 2, 1939, Einstein advised the President of the possibility of the atomic bomb and the urgent need for government action.

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