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Changing relationship between science and government post - 9-11-01 AAAS R&D Colloquium Lewis M. Branscomb Harvard University April 12, 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing relationship between science and government post - 9-11-01 AAAS R&D Colloquium Lewis M. Branscomb Harvard University April 12, 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing relationship between science and government post - 9-11-01 AAAS R&D Colloquium Lewis M. Branscomb Harvard University April 12, 2002

2 25 years of warning The threat of catastrophic terrorism Type III terrorism was anticipated (Prof. Gerald Holton 1976, to be republished 2002) Source of vulnerabilities Economic ecology: competition in market economy maximizes efficiency, stability at cost of resiliency. (NAS Bicentenary presentation to ICSU, 1976) Assumes a peaceful, obedient society which does not threaten to exploit these vulnerabilities

3 University-Govt relationship changed with every major war WWII: known enemy; duration fixed by expectation of unconditional surrender. Normal civil life suspended; S&T 100% dedicated. Cold War: known enemy; indefinite duration; task assigned to military and foreign policy. Normal civil life continues; military-industrial complex rusn war; academic support primarily through basic research agencies (ONR, AFOSR, ARO, DARPA…) Terrorism: unknown enemy in our midst; duration indefinite; universities will support building on traditional values, but adopting some significant changes.

4 Asymmetric Warfare Cold War: asymmetry of Soviet ground forces balanced by NATO technology. Catastrophic terrorism is the ultimate in asymmetric warfare Each terrorist threat is in some ways a new war. Terrorists techically competent and may be armed with weapons of mass destruction. To what extent can S&T compensate for the asymmetry in terrorism threat? What may be the role of and effect on the US universities?

5 Offsetting the Terrorists Advantage US is not structured to deal with a problem that cannot be compartmented Into war or civil justice Into domestic or foreign Into short term or long term Into public or private responsibility US technical community is ready to be called on. Is government organized to benefit from what universities can contribute.

6 Three approaches to counter-terrorism strategy Reduce the incentives Foreign and military policies International alliances Harden the target societies Detect and intercept terrorists Motivate industry to reduce vulnerabilities Damage limitation, enhanced recovery Detect and arrest terrorists Police and intelligence operations Balance impacts on civil rights

7 Nature of vulnerabilities S&T created both the efficient economy and provides the terrorists weapons Infrastructure systems are deeply linked Domino effects Leads to threat of multiple, simultaneous attacks Deregulation has increased vulnerability significantly in some areas

8 Threats Bioterrorism, chemical warfare Nuclear, radiation contamination Critical infrastructures Energy, communications, transportation Linked attacks Cities Managing warnings and attacks Supporting first responders Borders and intelligence

9 S&T strategies Technical tools needed Sensor systems Data systems and networks Biomedical vaccines, chem. war treatments Biometrics for efficient ID Human factors – decision systems Requirements Systems engineering and analysis Strategy driven goals for research Creation of new capabilities through basic research in pursuit of the strategy

10 Disciplines drawn into research for counter terrorism Hazardous materials, sensors: chemisty, physics and engineering. Nuclear, radiological threats: nuclear science Bioterrorism: biomedical science, medical services Energy: physical facilities, infrastructure links: engineering, IT Transportation & distribution: Engineering Water, Food and Agriculture: biology, chemistry Cyber attacks: Information science and engineering Cities and people: Social and behavioral science Infrastructure linkages: Systems analysis and systems in engineering

11 Stovepipes Most counter-terrorism research must be interdisciplinary and in a systems context Government science agencies tend to be stove piped; interdisciplinary work is hard to peer review. Many CT problems cut across agency lines. University structure is also poorly adapted to systems context, multidisciplinary work. Might result in some institutional innovations both in government and in the universities.

12 Implementation of S&T strategy Rely on existing highly decentralized but powerful S&T capabilities Do not try to reorganize federal govt. Create an architecture for defining the strategy and managing its execution Requires linked systems approaches Inter-sectoral collaboration (fed., states, cities, industry) will be a challenge.

13 University resources and needs for helping the effort RESOURCES Research capability for creating new options & capabilities Links to local government & industry. Access to students and colleagues from around the world. Relevant capability in social science, humanities. NEEDS Research resources Access to foreign resources Freedom to share technical information Acceptable levels of security in university Ability to admit and collaborate without irrational restrictions

14 Govt – University Relations in Time of Terrorism Some possible positive effects (Skolnikoff is addressing risks and threats to universities) New sources and levels of funding Disciplinary rebalance of funding Improved government ability to manage cross- cutting research programs More constructive linkages with industry and with state and local government. Important benefits to society from dual use. Renewal of interest in S&E education.

15 Sources, Balance, Levels of Government R&D Funding Good news Basic research may be seen as strategic necessity May help redress imbalance of physical vs health sciences Substantially funded by traditional civil agencies (NSF, NIH, DOE etc), not DOD Bad news As agency programs are relabeled they invite constraints Legislation and agency policy may place information restrictions on grants Counter-terrorism a preempting budget priority

16 Govt ability to manage cross- cutting research programs Counter-terrorism requires systems approach. Systems approach demands capability at top level of govt to architect national research programs. May help with interdisciplinary research If successful can apply to sustainable development, climate change…

17 Dual use benefits from the right research strategy Define problems to address civil as well as security needs: Can we learn to detect an infection prior to clinical symptoms? Find ways to make needed capabilities affordable: Can containers be inspected with new probes and sensors, reducing costs in time and money? Find ways to help deal with natural disasters: Communications, robotics, clothing, threat characterization for first responders.

18 Education again a National Security Priority? Bringing more American students into science and improving public education will be a necessity. Demand for publicly financed R&D will stress human resources in S&T Congressional pressure on non-US students (regrettable but likely) could increase case for US education efforts Technology Talent Act if inacted, seeks to increase US student interest in science.

19 Knowledge is power. Those who possess it have always sought to deny it to their enemies…. But exactly what knowledge needs to be controlled depends on who those enemies are. Nor is the control of knowledge costless. A free society should regard it as a last resort. Scientists cannot build on each others results if they do not know them. And governments are frequently tempted to hide not only what is dangerous, but also what is embarrassing. That can result in dangers of its own. -- From the Economist Control of Sensitive Information

20 Chaotic state of government controls on information System of military secret classification is not adapted to terrorism threat. A very broad range of basic research information will be needed. HHS has no legal authority to classify information SECRET. Sensitive but unclassified likely to be applied to much university work. There are serious, legitimate dilemmas about what should in fact be published. PATRIOT Act authorizes intrusion on Internet, answering machines and other telecoms.

21 Security and Intelligence on University Campuses Much more difficult problem than in Cold War Threat is here: public interest in security lapses at universities will be intense. Enemy is ill defined and diverse Threats are extraordinarily diverse Threat is of indefinite duration; victory is undefined. Public will expect universities to track students who may be conceived of as threats Universities with rules against work for the CIA will find new policies hard to define.

22 Changes in culture of science? Must the culture of science evolve to discourage its misuse? If so, in what ways? Is there a consensus on the expectations scientists place on themselves now?

23 Congress ready to legislate on universities and terrorism ml#Terrorism --lists dozens of proposed bills, many of which impose obligations on universities ml#Terrorism PATRIOT act – requires colleges to turn over student records, and requires NCES to turn over data in response to warrant, data shared with CIA, FBI etc.

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