that are required, adequate and sustained support is urgently needed for the multiple agencies that provide fundamental knowledge on which emerging technologies will be based.

Balancing the Needs of National Security with the Requirements for Productive and Creative Research

An expanded concept of national security (i.e., the shift from confronting military forces overseas to protecting the homeland from terrorists), together with an expanded role for S&T in addressing ways to counter terrorism, raises some very difficult issues for the nation’s research enterprise. They need to be resolved before the nation can realize the contributions of S&T described in this report.

In particular, because much of the research performed at universities will be essential for protecting the nation, there will be increasing pressure to keep critical knowledge out of the hands of people who might aid (or actually become) terrorists. In this environment, the federal government has already begun to express deep concerns about whether terrorists can take advantage of the open and international discussion of projects and results that characterizes university research. Scientists, on the other hand, worry that constraints on the free exchange of ideas may slow progress or even close down some fruitful areas of investigation altogether. This conflict between science and security is a difficult issue. More can be found on the topic in a recent Congressional Research Service report.15

This conflict always arises in wartime (including the Cold War), and universities and government have continually struggled to walk a fine line between protecting the nation’s security while also retaining the ability to conduct the free and open exchanges necessary to make rapid and creative scientific progress. Successful resolution of this conflict depends on careful analysis of exactly what information must be protected and what constraints least impair the universities’ effectiveness. Increased interaction between the government agencies responsible for security and the scientific community in universities and industry will enable the United States to come up with new and creative ways to defend itself and to outthink and outpace its enemies. The government should not place restrictions on research—such as limits on who performs research or who gets to share in the created knowledge—without first engaging in a thoughtful process that includes consultation with the universities and solid, case-by-case study of the risks vs. the benefits of open scientific investigation.16


Knezo, Genevieve J. 2002. Possible Impacts of Major Counter Terrorism Security Actions on Research, Development, and Higher Education, Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., April 8. Available online at <>.


The government should also consider alternative research models to allow university researchers to perform research with national security implications. Faculty (and possibly students) could per-

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