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December 17, 2001

Chancellor Greenwood to serve on national anti-terrorism panel

By Jim Burns

M.R.C. Greenwood, chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, has been named to serve on a committee of distinguished scientists and engineers who will make recommendations on how the world's scientific and technical resources can best be used to respond to the threat of "catastrophic terrorism."

The Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism will meet December 19-20 in Washington, D.C. Photo: UCSC Photo Services
Chancellor Greenwood is one of 24 members of The National Academies' newly formed Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism. The committee will convene for the first time on December 19-20, in Washington, D.C.

The project is designed to help the U.S. government develop a "science and technology program plan and research strategy" for combating terrorism.

In particular, in the next six months the committee will:

  • Prepare a taxonomy of sorts that will characterize the range of threats to the nation's security--describing targets, weapons, and delivery systems, and the possible points of intervention.

  • Identify the "highest-leveraged opportunities for research" to counter terrorism. The examination will incorporate the following areas of inquiry: biological; chemical; nuclear and radiological; information technology, computers, and telecommunications; transportation; energy facilities, buildings, and fixed infrastructure; and behavioral, social, and institutional issues.

  • Develop an integrated science and technology plan for combating terrorism that considers multi-disciplinary research topics. The plan will also consider threats that arise from the interdependence of these areas.

The project is intended to help the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy "use effectively the nation's and the world's scientific and technical community in a timely response to the threat of catastrophic terrorism," according to the committee's Statement of Task.

The National Academies consists of four prestigious organizations: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.

Chancellor Greenwood, a member of the Institute of Medicine, also serves on a number of other national and state scientific organizations, including the National Science Board, Governor Davis's Council on Bioscience, and the board of the California Healthcare Institute. A past president of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, Greenwood has research interests in developmental cell biology, genetics, physiology, nutrition, and science and higher education policy issues.

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