May 1st Jeremiah Sullivan Memorial Lecture: "The Strategies of Terrorism"

Siv Schwink

The Program in Arms Control & International and Domestic Security (ACDIS) and the Department of Physics is hosting the second Jeremiah Sullivan Memorial Lecture, with speaker John Lynn presenting "The Strategies of Terrorism."

The talk is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in 144 Loomis Laboratory at 1110 West Green St Urbana, IL 61801.

Lynn is a core faculty member of ACDIS and a professor emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of the 2017 Samuel Eliot Morison Prize and the author of Another Kind of War: The Nature and History of Terrorism, coming out in July 2019. In it, Lynn argues that radical sub-state terrorism should be considered as a kind of war.

In his lecture, Lynn will examine four strategies pursued by terrorist groups: intimidation, initiation, attrition, and evolution. Lynn argues that because radical terrorism attempts to exert a large psychological impact through the commission of relatively small-scale physical violence, terrorism is fundamentally psychological warfare, a weaponizing of the emotions, that is best countered through knowledge, understanding, and perspective.

Emeritus Professor of Physics and former Department Head Jeremiah Sullivan was a theoretical particle physicist and leading arms control expert who made significant and lasting contributions to national security and the international peace effort through his scientific research and through his service at and beyond the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Starting in 1974, Sullivan served as a member of JASON, an elite team of scientists tasked with advising the government on technical and highly classified national security matters. He was later appointed to numerous national arms control committees. With an ever courteous demeanor and a rare ability to guide rancorous debate to productive dialogue, Sullivan earned a reputation for strong consensus-style leadership.


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Illinois Physics Assistant Professor Barry Bradlyn has been selected for a 2020 National Science Foundation CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award. This award is conferred annually in support of junior faculty who excel in the role of teacher-scholars by integrating outstanding research programs with excellent educational programs. Receipt of this award also reflects great promise for a lifetime of leadership within the recipients’ respective fields.

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