Studying counterterrorism

The quasi-governmental agencies in the National Academies — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council — will address 10 areas in a counterterrorism study expected to be released in June.

Those areas are:

* How to enhance the connectivity between the government and the science and technology community.

* The effect of the threat of terrorism on scientists and universities and the implications for research, open scientific communication, and accessibility to and tracking of foreign students.

* How to improve research standards and practices to prevent misuse of biotechnology research.

* How to improve national cybersecurity through research.

* How to protect Americans' privacy and civil liberties as personal information is increasingly collected and analyzed.

* What immediate steps can reduce the risk of nuclear weapons or materials falling into the hands of terrorists.

* How to address the threat of biological attack and ensure adequate detection, response and recovery capabilities.

* The main threats and appropriate responses regarding agricultural terrorism.

* Possible new sensor technologies to enhance the security of U.S. aviation systems and how to secure all transportation systems.

* The motives, sociology and psychology of terrorist activity against the United States.

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