College of Architecture Texas A&M University


Previous Issue  

Next Issue

College Home

College Calendar

Aggie Daily

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 Media contact:  
 Phillip Rollfing  

Capital Hill

Lindell’s Capitol Hill testimony
addresses attack vulnerability of
nation’s chemical infrastructure



For different U.S. congressional committees heard testimony last week from Mike Lindell, professor of urban planning at Texas A&M University, regarding the vulnerability of the nation’s chemical infrastructure to terrorist attacks.

Lindell, a senior scholar at the university’s Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, was joined May 23 in Washington D.C. by Dorothy Zolandz, director of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Chemical Science and Technology. The duo previewed the findings of their NAS study, “Terrorism and the Chemical Infrastructure: Protecting People and Reducing Vulnerabilities,” which was released two days later.

In four different hour-long presentations, they met with the Senate Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the House Homeland Security Committee, and the House Science Committee.

The report, which took over a year and a half to complete, was commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to recommend research priorities for minimizing the societal impact of attacks on the chemical industry.

The committee strongly recommended investments in emergency preparedness in general and social science research in particular.

“I was mildly surprised and very pleased that a committee, whose members were mostly physical scientists and engineers, would give such a strong endorsement to social science research,” Lindell said. “There seems to be increasing recognition that chemical production, transportation, and consumption is a ‘sociotechnical’ system, not just a technical system. Over the years, many more physical scientists and engineers have realized that they need to work with social scientists to manage complex systems.”

The NAS Press will provide printed copies of the report available later this summer.

- The End -

^ Back to top