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Page Updated: 20-Sep-2006
SPS Homepage > News 2004

Science, Society and Security: Science and society in the face of new security threats

A NATO Advanced Research Workshop, held at Cambridge, UK,
26-28 September 2004

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A workshop took place in Cambridge, UK from 26-28 September, which explored the challenges faced by the science establishments in the new security environment across a range of NATO countries, and examined possible solutions by looking in closer detail at some national case studies. The proceedings started with a keynote address by Professor Sir Brian Heap, Master of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, and UK representative on the NATO Science Committee, setting out the importance of the NATO Security Through Science programme in the new security environment.

A first discussion set the scene, viewing the new security threat in its historical context and looking then at the differing perspectives of industry, academia and the military, to the current security environment.

Other sessions discussed: the situation in three different geographical locations - former Soviet bloc, Mediterranean Dialogue, western European countries with the US; the issue of breaking down barriers - among the scientific communities; between government and industry; amongst ministries, between international agencies and academics; between policy makers and industry. The workshop also studied models that offered potential solutions or some guidance to other countries with similar issues, using case studies for the UK, Turkey and Scandinavia.

There was a discussion on the role of the media and public relations in helping scientists raise awareness of the importance of science to the community and of its importance in allaying the fears of the public in the event of terrorist attacks.

The participants came from several former Soviet bloc countries (Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Hungary and the Czech Republic) some Mediterranean Dialogue countries (Algeria, Jordan), as well as from Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, the USA, and representatives of international institutions (the EU and NATO). The co-directors of the meeting were Mary Sharpe of Cambridge University, UK, and Dr. Svitlana Saveleva, City Hospital Policlinic, Omsk, Russia

A summary of observations and recommendations from the workshop may be found at the side. The full proceedings of the workshop will be published in the NATO Science Series early next year.

Note: The views expressed and observations and recommendations made at this workshop reflect those of the participants in the workshop only. They should not be regarded as reflecting NATO views or policy.