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A final guideline is that the academies should be highly selective in choosing security-related topics for their attention through interacademy channels. The difficulties encountered in carrying out interacademy activities involving sensitive topics are manifold, and it is very easy to overload the capacities of the academies in the security field, resulting in ineffectiveness. Success should not be measured by the number of activities that are under way but rather by the quality of the products arising from the activities.

In a broader sense, security considerations have always surrounded U.S.-Russian scientific relations, initially manifested in decisions to grant or deny visas that might provide access to sensitive technologies. Then, in the 1990s, the U.S. government became much more concerned about proliferation and backed up its concerns with funds to develop more secure systems to contain sensitive materials and information in Russia. At the turn of the twenty-first century, security concerns extended to joint efforts in counterterrorism. And now there is new appreciation of the security implications of the health and stability of all elements of society. The academies in the two countries are beginning to respond to this ever-expanding security agenda with programs aimed at public health and ethnic relations as well as nuclear, biological, and terrorism issues.

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