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Product title :

Misperceptions in preparing for biological attack: an historical survey

Author(s) : M. Furmanski

Summary :

Preparing for a biological attack involves analysing and co-ordinating information and events in the scientific, political and social arenas. The information that must be evaluated is, by definition, incomplete. It is not surprising that such interactions have regularly resulted in erroneous conclusions and flawed interventions. This historical survey examines instances where significant errors have occurred. The author describes several examples in each of three broad categories: misapprehensions of the risk of biological attack; misappraisals of an anomalous event as a biological attack; and misadventures in pre-emptive action to protect against a biological attack. The study identifies significant common elements in each of these errors that may be useful in avoiding future mistakes. In evaluating the effects of these errors, the study concludes that such mistakes often increase the dangers that they seek to avoid.

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