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June 20, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Calculating Risk: Preparing for Biochemical Terrorism
Last Featured: 6/2/2003

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

Color-coded alerts in the face of war have intensified the nation's fear of further terrorist attacks. Talk of biochemical threats has many asking: what can be done? After advice about duct tape and plastic sheeting was discredited by the scientific community, a wary public has questioned government suggested protective measures. One controversial step taken by the Bush administration is to make smallpox vaccines more widely available, but many are balancing the relative risk of exposure with concerns about the effects of the vaccine itself. How can we assess the likelihood of a biochemical attack and steps to protect ourselves?

George J. Annas is the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law and Chairman of the Health Law Department at the Boston University School of Public Health where he teaches bioethics. A widely published national expert in the field of law and medicine, whose books include The Rights of Patients and Some Choice: Law, Medicine and the Market. Professor Annas holds a degree from Harvard Law School and an M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is the co-founder of Global Lawyers & Physicians and the Patients Rights Project.

Jerome M. Hauer is the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness in the Office of Homeland Security. Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Hauer served as advisor to Secretary Tommy Thompson on national security and emergency management. He is widely recognized for his work in developing the country's first bioterrorism response plans for New York City. He also pioneered efforts to put in place one of the first public health surveillance systems in the United States. A graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Mr. Hauer has published more than 45 articles, one book and a monograph.

Closing Quote
"What makes us so afraid is the thing we half see, or hear half, as in a wood at dusk when a tree stump becomes an animal and a sound becomes a siren. And most of that fear is the fear of not knowing, of not actually seeing it correctly."

— Edna O’Brien

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Defense -- Vaccines
United States Office of Homeland Security – Smallpox Vaccine Program
Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies
American Red Cross
American Civil Liberties Union
Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological Weapons Program in the World--Told from Inside by the Man Who Ran It
by Ken Alibek, Stephen Handelman (Contributor)
Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox
by Jonathan B. Tucker
The Demon in the Freezer: A True Story
by Richard Preston
The Tension Between Security and Liberty in the War on Terror
Immigration and Policy
The Cuban Embargo