Last weekend I was invited to give an hour-long talk about terrorism and radicalization to about 600 people at an event in New York City. The audience seemed honestly interested in what I had to say about the research in this field. I showed them some Powerpoint slides with research-based insights on radicalization, told some corny jokes, and concluded with some comments about community resilience and the fact that while many of the ideologies that fuel terrorism have a deep history, terrorist groups do eventually meet their demise.
But then afterwards, during the open question & answer period, it was my turn to learn from them. The questions they asked provided me with a lot of insight about how the general public views the threat of terrorism and what should be done about it.