High alert: Responding to converging security threats on a global scale

Global Security PLuS, a new think tank that mines the expertise of three of the world’s leading universities to identify and respond to threats in global security, will be launched at UNSW on 19 July.


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How do we respond to deadly viruses? How can we make our hospitals secure against cyber-attacks from foreign countries? How far should laws go to protect us against extremism while preserving an individual’s right to liberty?

The world is currently experiencing extraordinary levels of threat to global security. War, terrorism, epidemics, cybercrime and unprecedented levels of displaced people pose challenges even in the most stable of societies.

Technological advances that promise to benefit humanity may also be used to cause harm. Developments in biology, drones, artificial intelligence, and computer science are easily accessible to terrorist groups. These threats cross national boundaries. The new Global Security PLuS think tank will respond to these threats on a global scale.

To launch Global Security PLuS six experts in security research and thought leadership from the PLuS Alliance – an alliance that spans Australia, the UK and the US – are speaking at this symposium. 

About the speakers:

Jacinta Carroll is Head of Counter Terrorism Policy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. She previously held senior executive roles in the Department of Defence and the Attorney-General’s Department. Her career experience includes working on national security, counter-terrorism, strategic policy, border security, military operations, campaign planning and scenario development, information management, and international policy with a particular focus on the Middle East and Afghanistan. She has also served in Iraq.

Professor Luca Viganó is the Professor of Computer Science, Head of the Department of Informatics, and member of the Software Modelling and Applied Logic group at King’s College London. He specialises in methods and tools for building secure systems, security logics, security testing, and non-classical logics.

Professor George Williams AO is the Dean of Law at UNSW. He held an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship that examined the making of anti-terror laws by democratic nations. His books include Australian Constitutional Law and Theory, The Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia and Human Rights under the Australian Constitution. As a barrister he has appeared in the High Court in many cases over the past two decades.

Associate Professor Brian Gerber is an associate professor in the College of Public Service and Community Solutions and director of the Emergency Management and Homeland Security program at Arizona State University. Dr Gerber has extensive experience performing policy analysis and program evaluation work for state and local government agencies, as well as major national not for profits engaged in disaster relief and recovery work.

Professor Raina MacIntyre is Head of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at UNSW. She leads research into the control and prevention of infectious diseases spanning bioterrorism, risk analysis, personal protective equipment, vaccinology, mathematical modelling, and protection of first responders. She currently heads a NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Epidemic Response.

Professor Anthony Burke teaches in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW Canberra. He is a leading international scholar in international security, international ethics, war and peace, and political and international relations theory. He also worked as a research officer in the Senate’s environment, arts and communications committee where he co-authored reports on the ABC, the Jabiluka uranium mine and Australia’s response to climate change.

What: Launch of Global Security PLuS and symposium

When: Wednesday, 19 July, 8:30am-5pm

Where: Colombo House Theatres, UNSW Sydney

Tickets: Complimentary. Please register your attendance.

Global Security PLuS is an initiative of the PLuS Alliance that was formed in 2016 by Arizona State University, King’s College London and UNSW Sydney. The PLuS Alliance combines the strengths of three leading research universities on three continents to solve global challenges in health, social justice, sustainability, and technology and innovation.

For more information visit Global Security PLuS at the PLuS Alliance