On Sept. 11, did you feel as you wanted to help, but could not, as you were numb? I sat bleary-eyed in front of the TV, despite being a professor of epidemiology. I did not know what I could do. Perhaps the best approach we as scientists can take is the building of a global scientist Civil Defense. About two weeks before Sept. 11, my colleagues and I published in the Lancet an article suggesting that the public health and scientific systems guarding against a terrorist attack were in adequate.

The systems in place on Sept. 10 were too rigid, too hierarchical with too few eyes and brains. We argued for a Citizen and Scientific neighborhood watch, in which we as citizens and scientists would be interconnected with our friends. This virtual set of global networks would have 50 million eyes and 25 million brains to be on the outlook...

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