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Germ WarsThe Politics of Microbes and America's Landscape of Fear$
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Melanie Armstrong

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520292765

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520292765.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 31 May 2020

Simulation Science

Simulation Science

Securing the Future

Chapter:
(p.167) 5 Simulation Science
Source:
Germ Wars
Author(s):

Melanie Armstrong

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520292765.003.0006

Because no large-scale bioterrorist attack has happened in the modern age, planning for bioterrorism requires imagination. Simulations, ranging from computer-generated models to large-scale role-playing events involving thousands of actors, have gained credibility as a scientific tool for calculating the outcomes of violent events. Expanding use of simulation raises questions about how modeling and scenario planning gain tenacity in the current political climate, used by planners and policymakers to generate knowledge of the future. In bioterrorism preparedness, simulations and scenarios matter because they rationalize political actions that manage human life, individually and collectively, in the present moment. A case study of a terrorism training center in Playas, New Mexico, demonstrates the material and political effects of scenarios and simulation.

Keywords:   scenario planning, simulation, (scientific) models, bioterrorism, preparedness, policy, politics, scientific method, role-playing, Playas (New Mexico)

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