Spread the love

Topic: Science + The Law | Future Biological Threats

What does the future hold for dealing with bio threats? What can we do scientifically and legally? Topics include the opening of casinos versus churches, the speed and safety of vaccines, the role of simulations and preparedness, and the responsibility of scientists versus federal agencies and the courts.

Moderator: Sr. Judge Loren Smith, US Court of Federal Claims | Guests: Dr. Asha George, Dr.PH – Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense  | Dr. Robert Rosner, William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago | Partner: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | Length: 36 minutes 

Available: | Podbean |Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | ListenNotes | iHeartRadio _______________________________________________ 

  • 00:33 Sr. Judge Smith: Introduction of panelists 
  • 02:17 Supreme Court @ NV – Opening casinos vs churches
  • 07:00 Homeland Security Policy Directive (PD) 21
  • 07:11 Crimson Contagion Exercise 
  • 10:23 People’s tolerance for restriction over months 
  • 13:59 Iterative process to watch for change 
  • 15:28 Vaccines + Safety
  • 19:00 What if the 1st vaccine is developed in Europe?  
  • 19:53 Vaccine injury compensation (ex: BPV vaccine) 
  • 20:59 What else could help? Anecdotal vs. Science 
  • 23:40 Side effects | disease vs. new vaccine 
  • 25:45 What would life be like without a cure? Ex. AIDS/HIV
  • 30:06 Views of the future
  • 30:20 We will learn to adapt | ISupport science | Prepare for threats 
  • 32:48 Need unity of voice between health pros and govt



Loren Smith, Sr. Judge in the US Court of Federal Claims

Judge Smith was appointed a judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims on July 11, 1985 and entered duty on September 12, 1985. He was designated Chief Judge on January 14, 1986. He graduated from Northwestern University, receiving a B.A. in 1966; he attended Northwestern University School of Law, receiving a J.D. in 1969.

Judge Smith formerly served as Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1981 to 1985. During his tenure as Chairman, Judge Smith was a member of the President’s Cabinet Councils on Legal Policy and on Management and Administration. He also served as the Chairman of the Council of Independent Regulatory Agencies. Judge Smith was Deputy Director of the Executive Branch Management Office of Presidential Transition from 1980-81; Chief Counsel, Reagan for President campaigns in 1976 and 1980; Professor of Law, Delaware Law School, 1976-1984; Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, 1974-75; Assistant to the Special Counsel to the President, 1973-74; General Attorney, Federal Communications Commission in 1973; and Consultant, Sidley & Austin, Chicago, 1972-73. Also in 1972 he served as host of a nightly radio talk show called What’s Best for America? In 1970, he ran for Illinois General Assembly with the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune. Judge Smith is author of the following: The Morality of Regulation, William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, 1998; The Aging of Administrative Law: The Administrative Conference Reaches Early Retirement, Arizona State Law Journal, 1998; Renovation of an Old Court, Federal Bar News and Journal, September 1993; A Spring Thaw in Estonia, The Washington Times, April 11, 1992; Administration: An Idea Whose Time May Have Passed, in The Fettered Presidency, eds. L. Gordon Crovitz & Jeremy A. Rabkin, 1989; Vision of the Exchange, William & Mary Law Review, 1986; Judicialization of the Administrative Process: The Fine Print, National Legal Center for the Public Interest, 1986; The End of the Constitution, 4 Detroit College of Law Review 1147 (1986); Judicialization: The Twilight of Administrative Law, 85 Duke L.J. 2, 1985; Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions, 7 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 61 (1984); Business, Buck+ACQ & Bull, The Corporation, The First Amendment & The Corrupt Practice of Law, 4 Delaware J. of Corporate Law 1, 1978. He is co-author of Black America and Organized Labor: A Fair Deal?, The Lincoln Institute for Research and Education (1979).

He is a member of the Bars of the Supreme Court of Illinois; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces; United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; United States Court of Federal Claims.


– Dr. Asha George, Dr.PH – Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 

Asha M. George, DrPH, is the Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. Previously, she served in the US House of Representatives as subcommittee staff director and senior professional staff at the Committee on Homeland Security. She has also worked for a variety of other organizations (including government contractors, foundations, and non-profits) and with all Federal Departments and many agencies. Several organizations, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have recognized her national security, public health, public policy, and emergency management contributions.

Dr. George also served on active duty in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence officer and as a paratrooper. She is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran.

Dr. George makes national security and public health security her top professional priorities. As Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, she co-authored A National Blueprint for Biodefense: Leadership and Major Reform Needed to Optimize Efforts; Biodefense Indicators: One Year Later, Events Outpacing Federal Efforts to Defend the Nation; Defense of Animal Agriculture; Budget Reform for Biodefense: Integrated Budget Needed to Increase Return on Investment; and Holding the Line on Biodefense: State, Local, Tribal, And Territorial Reinforcements Needed. Previously, she wrote two congressional reports (Getting Beyond Getting Ready for Pandemic Influenza and Public Health, Safety, and Security for Mass Gatherings), and was the lead author of the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010. Her other publications include The National Security Implications of Cyberbiosecurity, the 2011-2012 National Risk ProfileResponse is Local, Relief is Not; Managing the Multiplicative Threat; and We Are in it Together: Executive Considerations to Combat Biological and Agro Terrorism.

Dr. George holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Hawaii, a Master of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a graduate of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, run by the Harvard University Chan School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government.

 – Dr. Robert Rosner, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. 

Rosner is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Rosner served as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, where he had also previously served as Chief Scientist. His current scientific research is mostly in the areas of laboratory and astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, and computational physics. His policy-oriented work has focused on the future of nuclear power and the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, as well as various aspects of electrifying the transport sector. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. As chair of the Science and Security Board, Rosner is a member of the Governing Boardex officio.