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Science, Technology, and Security:
Knowledge for the Post-9/11 World -- Symposium, October 10-11, 2002


National security has assumed a much greater importance in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11. Scientific and technological knowledge and understanding are essential to enhance national security. Effective science and technology-based security policies depend critically upon assessing what knowledge is available, what knowledge is needed, and how decision makers might put that knowledge to effective use. The University of Colorado has strong departments in science, engineering, and technology. In addition, the Front Range is home to several national laboratories, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, other major research universities, and the Air Force Academy. With this symposium the CIRES Center for Science and Technology Policy Research seeks to foster new connections and dialogue among the wealth of local experts on how better to integrate scientific and technological research with decision making on issues ranging from computer security to bioterrorism. This symposium will bring together local experts in the physical, natural, and social sciences to identify what we know, how to better use (and limit the misuse of) what we know, what we need to learn, and discuss issues and obstacles associated with each. Some of the questions that the symposium might address include:

  • How might CU-Boulder's strengths in remote sensing contribute to decision making regarding national security?
  • How can decision makers learn to ask the right questions of science and technology? What are its limits?
  • Energy independence plays a role in national security. What scientific and technological knowledge currently exists that can hasten achievement of this goal, and what is needed?
  • What role can meteorological models play in decision making regarding bioterrorism?
  • What lessons from the weather community's early warning systems can be applied to security threats?

Breakout groups will tentatively include the following areas:

  • Bioterrorism
  • Technology issues (computer, energy security)
  • Water security
  • Homeland defense support (emergency management, etc.)