American Chemical Society hosts Capitol Hill briefing on cybersecurity and smart infrastructure

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2012 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on “Cybersecurity and Smart Infrastructure: Ensuring Resilience and Deterrence.” It will be held Thursday, April 19, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building 2325.

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The briefing is co-hosted by the ACS Science & the Congress Project, with honorary co-hosts U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chairs of the Cyber Security Caucus.

The Internet has brought the reality of remote and/or automated control of many systems including traffic systems, water works and electricity distribution that are vital to daily life. Two-way communication abilities and digitized data streams promise the rise of “smart” systems that can minimize energy and material waste by making the system efficient in real time. However, the paradox of such adaptability is that it opens the system to remote manipulation with potentially lethal results. As previously analog and manually controlled systems become increasingly smart, how should policymakers direct modernization of infrastructure with computer engineering to ensure that networks are resilient to attack? This panel will address critical issues about how cybersecurity research and implementation should proceed to prevent catastrophic scenarios. The briefing will feature the following panelists and an open discussion:

Moderator: Herb S. Lin, Ph.D., National Research Council


  • Sunil Cherian, Ph.D., Spirae Inc.
  • Stacy Prowell, Ph.D., Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • William Sanders, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Marianne Swanson, National Institute of Standards at Technology

The Science & the Congress Project was established in 1995 to provide a neutral and credible source of scientific information targeted to policymakers on Capitol Hill. Expert speakers are chosen to provide a balanced presentation about the topic under discussion, and their comments are independent of any position that may be held by the ACS, the sponsors of Science & the Congress, or its co-hosts. For more information, visit

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