Special Viewpoints

Toward Inherently Secure and Resilient Societies

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Science  12 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5737, pp. 1034-1036
DOI: 10.1126/science.1111534

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Recent years have seen a number of challenges to social stability and order, ranging from terrorist attacks and natural disasters to epidemics such as AIDS and SARS. Such challenges have generated specific policy responses, such as enhanced security at transportation hubs and planned deployment of a global tsunami detection network. However, the range of challenges and the practical impossibility of adequately addressing each in turn argue for adoption of a more comprehensive systems perspective. This should be based on the principle of enhancing social and economic resiliency as well as meeting security and emergency response needs and, to the extent possible, developing and implementing dual-use technologies that offer societal benefits even if anticipated disasters never occur.

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