In this fascinating foray into the centuries-old relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer-researcher Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war. "The overlap is strong, and the knowledge flows in both directions," say the authors, because astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi-spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance. "The universe is both the ultimate frontier and the highest of high grounds," they write. "Shared by both space scientists and space warriors, it’s a laboratory for one and a battlefield for the other. The explorer wants to understand it; the soldier wants to dominate it. But without the right technology—which is more or less the same technology for both parties—nobody can get to it, operate in it, scrutinize it, dominate it, or use it to their advantage and someone else’s disadvantage."
Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson’s millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.
We live in complicated, dangerous times. Present and future presidents need to know if North Korea's nascent nuclear capability is a genuine threat to the West, if biochemical weapons are likely to be developed by terrorists, if there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels that should be nurtured and supported by the government, if private companies should be allowed to lead the way on space exploration, and what the actual facts are about the worsening threats from climate change. This is "must-have" information for all presidents—and citizens—of the twenty-first century.
Winner of the 2009 Northern California Book Award for General Nonfiction.Images in this eBook are not displayed due to permissions issues.
Shawn Otto’s compelling new book investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons why evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise on both left and right, and provides some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it's too late.
“Brick” and “Wax” were not going to sell drugs on corners; they used location-based technology and encrypted messaging software to dispatch ordered drugs via delivery drivers—an Uber-like service that eliminated street deals and easily tapped phones. They were soon supplying cities along the East Coast, creating a whole new class of opioid addicts with the FBI and DEA trailing in their wake. To ensure their supply of drugs did not run out, the teens formed an alliance with members of the Sinaloa cartel, headed by El Chapo.
Veteran Newsday crime reporter Kevin Deutsch has been reporting on the ground in drug-ravaged neighborhoods for over a year. He’s seen the bodies. Across America, thousands are dying from opioid overdoses. This middle-class crisis has been well documented, but the inner cities, where families are being swallowed up by addiction, have been ignored. Deutsch brings us into this underworld, where social unrest and cutting-edge technology allow criminals to seed the next wave of dysfunction and despair.
The more facts that pile up about global warming, the greater the resistance to them grows, making it harder to enact measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare communities for the inevitable change ahead.
It is a catch-22 that starts, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes, from an inadequate understanding of the way most humans think, act, and live in the world around them. With dozens of examples—from the private sector to government agencies—Stoknes shows how to retell the story of climate change and, at the same time, create positive, meaningful actions that can be supported even by deniers.
In What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming, Stoknes not only masterfully identifies the five main psychological barriers to climate action, but addresses them with five strategies for how to talk about global warming in a way that creates action and solutions, not further inaction and despair.
These strategies work with, rather than against, human nature. They are social, positive, and simple—making climate-friendly behaviors easy and convenient. They are also story-based, to help add meaning and create community, and include the use of signals, or indicators, to gauge feedback and be constantly responsive.
Whether you are working on the front lines of the climate issue, immersed in the science, trying to make policy or educate the public, or just an average person trying to make sense of the cognitive dissonance or grapple with frustration over this looming issue, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming moves beyond the psychological barriers that block progress and opens new doorways to social and personal transformation.
In this masterly synthesis, Arthur Koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the Babylonians to Newton. He shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias and unconscious prejudice played in their creativity.
America is at war, but most of its citizens don’t realize it.
Covert information warfare is being waged by world powers, rogue states—such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea—and even terrorist groups like ISIS. This conflict has been designed to defeat and ultimately destroy the United States.
This new type of warfare is part of the Information Age that has come to dominate our lives. In iWar, Bill Gertz describes how technology has completely revolutionized modern warfare, how the Obama administration failed to meet this challenge, and what we can and must do to catch up and triumph over this timely and important struggle.
The benefits of improving and regulating the forensic science disciplines are clear: assisting law enforcement officials, enhancing homeland security, and reducing the risk of wrongful conviction and exoneration. Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States gives a full account of what is needed to advance the forensic science disciplines, including upgrading of systems and organizational structures, better training, widespread adoption of uniform and enforceable best practices, and mandatory certification and accreditation programs.
While this book provides an essential call-to-action for congress and policy makers, it also serves as a vital tool for law enforcement agencies, criminal prosecutors and attorneys, and forensic science educators.
A leading doctor offers answers on the one of the most urgent questions of our time: How do we prevent the next global pandemic?
The 2014 Ebola epidemic in Liberia terrified the world—and revealed how unprepared we are for the next outbreak of an infectious disease. Somewhere in nature, a killer virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey, or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. This not-yet-detected germ has the potential to wipe out millions of lives over a matter of weeks or months. That risk makes the threat posed by ISIS, a ground war, a massive climate event, or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale in comparison.
In The End of Epidemics, Harvard Medical School faculty member and Chair of the Global Health Council Dr. Jonathan D. Quick examines the eradication of smallpox and devastating effects of influenza, AIDS, SARS, and Ebola. Analyzing local and global efforts to contain these diseases and citing firsthand accounts of failure and success, Dr. Quick proposes a new set of actions which he has coined “The Power of Seven,” to end epidemics before they can begin. These actions include:
- Spend prudently to prevent disease before an epidemic strikes, rather than spending too little, too late
- Ensure prompt, open, and accurate communication between nations and aid agencies, instead of secrecy and territorial disputes
- Fight disease and prevent panic with innovation and good science
Practical and urgent, The End of Epidemics is crucial reading for citizens, health professionals, and policy makers alike.
The Butter-Up and Undercut. The Certain Uncertainty. The Straight-Up Fabrication. Dave Levitan dismantles all of these deceptive arguments, and many more, in this probing and hilarious examination of the ways our elected officials attack scientific findings that conflict with their political agendas. The next time you hear a politician say, "Well, I’m not a scientist, but…," you’ll be ready.
The contributors to this anthology don’t simply describe these problems or warn about the loss of privacy—they propose solutions. They look closely at business practices, public policy, and technology design, and ask, “Should this continue? Is there a better approach?” They take seriously the dictum of Thomas Edison: “What one creates with his hand, he should control with his head.” It’s a new approach to the privacy debate, one that assumes privacy is worth protecting, that there are solutions to be found, and that the future is not yet known. This volume will be an essential reference for policy makers and researchers, journalists and scholars, and others looking for answers to one of the biggest challenges of our modern day. The premise is clear: there’s a problem—let’s find a solution.
The government hires scientists to support its policies; industry hires them to support its business; and universities hire them to bring in grants that are handed out to support government policies and industry practices. Organizations dealing with scientific integrity are designed only to weed out those who commit fraud behind the backs of the institutions where they work. The greatest threat of all is the purposeful corruption of the scientific enterprise by the institutions themselves. The science they create is often only an illusion, designed to deceive; and the scientists they destroy to protect that illusion are often our best. This book is about both, beginning with Dr. Lewis’s experience, and ending with the story of Dr. Andrew Wakefield.
From social media to the Internet of Things, digital fabrication to robotics, virtual reality to synthetic biology, new technologies are racing forward across the board. Together they are ripping up the rule book for people, firms, and governments alike. Mastering this so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution is the theme of the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Annual Meeting, for which this special collection serves as background reading.
Klaus Schwab kicks things off with an overview of the topic, followed by sections on the technological trends driving the revolution; those trends’ economic, social, and political impacts; and the resulting challenges for policy. Drawn from the pages of Foreign Affairs and the pixels of ForeignAffairs.com, the articles feature world-class experts explaining crucial issues clearly, directly, and authoritatively. We hope you enjoy the collection and come back for more.
Congress authorized ARPA-E in the 2007 America COMPETES Act and requested an early assessment following 6 years of operation to examine the agencyâ€™s progress toward achieving its statutory mission and goals. This report documents the results of that assessment. It includes both an operational assessment of the agencyâ€™s funding programs and a technical assessment of its awards, to the extent possible.
Today's global refugee crisis has mobilized humanitarian efforts to help those fleeing persecution and armed conflict at all stages of their journey. Aid organizations are increasingly employing new information technologies in their mission, taking advantage of proliferating mobile phones, remote sensors, wireless networks, and biometric identification systems. Digital Lifeline? examines the use of these technological innovations by the humanitarian community, exploring operations and systems that range from forecasting refugee flows to providing cellular and Internet connectivity to displaced persons. The contributors, from disciplines as diverse as international law and computer science, offer a variety of perspectives on forced migration, technical development, and user behavior, drawing on field work in countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Rwanda, Germany, Greece, the United States, and Canada.
The chapters consider such topics as the use of information technology in refugee status determination; ethical and legal issues surrounding biometric technologies; information technology within organizational hierarchies; the use of technology by refugees; access issues in refugee camps; the scalability and sustainability of information technology innovations in humanitarian work; geographic information systems and spatial thinking; and the use of “big data” analytic techniques. Finally, the book identifies policy research directions, develops a unified research agenda, and offers practical suggestions for conducting displacement research.
Elizabeth Belding, Karen E. Fisher, Daniel Iland, Lindsey N. Kingston, Carleen F. Maitland, Susan F. Martin, Galya Ben-Arieh Ruffer, Paul Schmitt, Lisa Singh, Brian Tomaszewski, Mariya Zheleva
Jedediah Bila has solved her own Obsessive Compulsive Tech Disorder, and she did it without throwing away her devices.
It's time to switch on airplane mode and settle into Jedediah Bila’s #DoNotDisturb: How I Ghosted My Cell Phone to Take Back My Life.
In this timely, entertaining and inspiring book, Jedediah Bila chronicles her chaotic, confusing, and all-consuming love-hate relationship with - her cell phone. Stepping back from the whirlwind of texting, social media, and an endless sea of apps, Bila questions how our relationships, character, and sanity have suffered from our deep dive into the digital abyss. Exploring the toll that tech addiction took on her life, Bila reveals her missteps and mistakes, including several upending, life-altering months swirling in an ex-boyfriend’s cell-phone-enabled double life, and how a low-tech millennial later stole her heart.
Travel with Jedediah through the embarrassing and catastrophic consequences of Ménage-a-Tech relationships, social media's Perception Deception, and the One-Potato-Chip-Problem of trying to resist Silicon Valley's hypnotic, slot-machine software designed to lure you in. Bila reveals how she navigated away from an unhealthy, oversaturated diet of tech junk food to striking just the right balance with technology to let her unplugged, real-life moments take charge.
In #DoNotDisturb, Bila applies her trademark no-nonsense, common-sense, personal responsibility and accountability-centered approach, warning us that if we don’t stop acting like robots, our very humanity is at stake.
Through warm anecdotes and cold, hard truths, Bila reveals how she pulled her way out of the tech fog to keep her eyes focused on the life right in front of her. And how you can too.
Science and technology policy covers all the public sector measures designed for the creation, funding, support, and mobilization of scientific and technological resources.
The content of the Theme on Science and technology policy provides the essential aspects and a myriad of issues of great relevance to our world such as: Science and Technology Policy; International Dimensions of Science and Technology Policy; The Innovation System; The Policy Making Process in Science and Technology; Regional Perspectives: A New Scenario for Science and Technology Policies in the Developed and Developing World .
These two volumes are aimed at the following five major target audiences: University and College students Educators, Professional practitioners, Research personnel and Policy analysts, managers, and decision makers and NGOs
Robert Mandel offers a unique and comprehensive strategic vision for how governments, in partnership with the private sector, can deter cyberattacks from both nonstate and state actors. Cyberdeterrence must be different from conventional military or nuclear deterrence, which are mainly based on dissuading an attack by forcing the aggressor to face unacceptable costs. In the cyber realm, where attributing a specific attack to a specific actor is extremely difficult, conventional deterrence principles are not enough. Mandel argues that cyberdeterrence must alter a potential attacker’s decision calculus by not only raising costs for the attacker but also by limiting the prospects for gain. Cyberdeterrence must also involve indirect unorthodox restraints, such as exposure to negative blowback and deceptive diversionary measures, and cross-domain measures rather than just retaliation in kind.
The book includes twelve twenty-first-century cyberattack case studies to draw insights into cyberdeterrence and determine the conditions under which it works most effectively. Mandel concludes by making recommendations for implementing cyberdeterrence and integrating it into broader national security policy. Cyber policy practitioners and scholars will gain valuable and current knowledge from this excellent study.
Advances in medicine often depend on the effective collection, storage, research use, and sharing of human biological specimens and associated data. But what about the sources of such specimens? When a blood specimen is drawn from a vein in your arm, is that specimen still you? Is it your property, intellectual or otherwise? Should you be allowed not only to consent to its use in research but also to specify under what circumstances it may be used? These and other questions are at the center of a vigorous debate over the use of human biospecimens in research. In this book, experts offer legal, regulatory, and ethical perspectives on balancing social benefit and human autonomy in biospecimen research.
After discussing the background to current debates as well as several influential cases, including that of Henrietta Lacks, the contributors consider the rights, obligations, risks, and privacy of the specimen source; different types of informed consent under consideration (broad, blanket, and specific); implications for special patient and researcher communities; and the governance of biospecimen repositories and the responsibilities of investigators.
Rebecca A. Anderson, Heide Aungs, Avery Avrakotos, Mark Barnes, Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Benjamin Berkman, Barbara E. Bierer, Mark A. Borreliz, Jeffrey R. Botkin, Dan Brock, Ellen Wright Clayton, I. Glenn Cohen, Lisa Eckstein, Barbara J. Evans, Emily Chi Fogler, Nanibaa' A. Garrison, Pamela Gavin, Aaron J. Goldenberg, Christine Grady, Kate Gallin Heffernan, Marylana Saadeh Helou, Sara Chandros Hull, Elisa A. Hurley, Steven Joffe, Erin P. Johnson, Julie Kaneshiro, Aaron S. Kesselheim, Isaac Kohane, David Korn, Russell Korobkin, Bernard Lo, Geoffrey Lomax, Kimberly Hensle Lowrance, Holly Fernandez Lynch, Bradley A. Malin, Karen J. Maschke, Eric M. Meslin, P. Pearl O'Rourke, Quinn T. Ostrom, David Peloquin, Rebecca Pentz, Jane Perlmutter, Ivor Pritchard, Suzanne M. Rivera, Erin Rothwell, Andrew P. Rusczek, Rachel E. Sachs, Carol Weil, David Wendler, Benjamin Wilfond, Susan M. Wolf
Gender roles, family life, the demographic makeup of the nation and the faculty, and the economic stability of higher education all have shifted dramatically over the past generation. In addition, strong current trends in technology, funding, and demographics suggest that change will continue and perhaps even accelerate in academe in the years to come. One central element of academic life has remained essentially unchanged for generations, however: the formal structure of the professorial career. Developed in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to suit circumstances quite different from today's, and based on traditions going back even earlier, this customary career path is now a source of strain for both the individuals pursuing it and the institutions where they work.
The Arc of the Academic Research Career is the summary of a workshop convened by The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy in September 2013 to examine major points of strain in academic research careers from the point of view of both the faculty members and the institutions. National experts from a variety of disciplines and institutions discussed practices and strategies already in use on various campuses and identified issues as yet not effectively addressed. This workshop summary addresses the challenges universities face, from nurturing the talent of future faculty members to managing their progress through all the stages of their careers to finding the best use of their skills as their work winds down.
Eve Herold's Beyond Human examines the medical technologies taking shape at the nexus of computing, microelectronics, engineering, nanotechnology, cellular and gene therapies, and robotics. These technologies will dramatically transform our lives and allow us to live for hundreds of years. Yet, with these blessings come complicated practical and ethical issues, some of which we can predict, but many we cannot.
Beyond Human taps the minds of doctors, scientists, and engineers engaged in developing a host of new technologies while telling the stories of some of the patients courageously testing the radical new treatments about to come into the market.
Beyond Human asks the difficult questions of the scientists and bioethicists who seek to ensure that as our bodies and brains become ever more artificial, we hold onto our humanity. In this new world, will everyone have access to technological miracles, or will we end up living in a world of radical disparities? How will society accommodate life spans that extend into hundreds of years? Will we and our descendants be able to bring about the dream of a future liberated by technology, or will we end up merely serving the machines and devices that keep us healthy, smart, young, and alive?
The overall quality of ARL's technical staff and their work continues to be impressive, as well as the relevance of their work to Army needs. ARL continues to exhibit a clear, passionate concern for the end user of its technology--the soldier in the field. While two directorates have large program-support missions, there is considerable customer-support work across the directorates, which universally demonstrate mindfulness of the importance of transitioning technology to support immediate and near-term Army needs. ARL staff also continue to expand their involvement with the wider scientific and engineering community.
This involvement includes monitoring relevant developments elsewhere, engaging in significant collaborative work (including the Collaborative Technology Alliances), and sharing work through peer reviews. In general, ARL is working very well within an appropriate research and development niche and has been demonstrating significant accomplishments.
As the world’s first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize online payments systems in a way that benefits consumers and businesses. Instead of using an intermediary such as PayPal or submitting credit card information to a third party for verification—both of which often include transaction fees and other restrictions—Bitcoin allows individuals to pay each other directly for goods or services.
The characteristics that make Bitcoin so innovative have also made it a target for regulators, who fear that the cryptocurrency will aid tax evasion, money laundering, and other crimes. While it is true that it can be used for nefarious purposes, the same can be said of cash. But, unlike cash, Bitcoin transactions are recorded in an online ledger.
In this new primer published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Jerry Brito and Andrea Castillo describe how the digital currency works and address many of the common misconceptions about it. They also analyze current laws and regulations that may already cover digital currencies and warn against preemptively placing regulatory restrictions on Bitcoin that could stifle the new technology before it has a chance to evolve. In addition, they give several recommendations about how to treat Bitcoin going forward.
Here, at the forefront of the debate, Brito and Castillo both support innovation and provide much-needed clarity for policymakers and law enforcement.
A Spanish edition of this book is also available from the Mercatus Center.
In the second decade of this new millennium, we are more connected than we have ever been, and digital utopians speak of the new wonders ahead—artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence, a merger of humans and machines, and a coming era of transhumanism that we cannot possibly imagine.
But there are dissenters. They see the rise of a surveillance state. They see personal data turned into a commodity. They see profits swirling to a few huge corporations. They see basic human interactions impaired by gadgetry.
The most apocalyptic thinkers fear that machines will soon escape our control. They believe artificial intelligence will be our most catastrophic invention.
These people do not form a coherent movement. But if they share a common message, it's that technology should serve humans and not the other way around.
Joel Achenbach explores his own relationship with the digital revolution, as well as its future, in this eye-opening, intelligent, and entertaining look at how we connect today.
But what happens in a world dominated by complex science? Are the people still well-enough informed to be trusted with their own government? And with less than 2 percent of Congress with any professional background in science, how can our government be trusted to lead us in the right direction?
Will the media save us? Don't count on it. In early 2008, of the 2,975 questions asked the candidates for president just six mentioned the words "global warming" or "climate change," the greatest policy challenge facing America. To put that in perspective, three questions mentioned UFOs.
Today the world's major unsolved challenges all revolve around science. By the 2012 election cycle, at a time when science is influencing every aspect of modern life, antiscience views from climate-change denial to creationism to vaccine refusal have become mainstream.
Faced with the daunting challenges of an environment under siege, an exploding population, a falling economy and an education system slipping behind, our elected leaders are hard at work ... passing resolutions that say climate change is not real and astrology can control the weather.
Shawn Lawrence Otto has written a behind-the-scenes look at how the government, our politics, and the media prevent us from finding the real solutions we need. Fool Me Twice is the clever, outraged, and frightening account of America's relationship with science—a relationship that is on the rocks at the very time we need it most.
Americans have a long tradition of making heroes out of their inventors. But before the 1960s and '70s neither policymakers nor economists paid much attention to the critical economic role played by innovation. However, during the late 1970s, a confluence of events--industry concern with the perceived deterioration of innovation in the United States, a growing body of economic research on innovation's importance, and the stagnation of the larger economy--led to a broad political interest in fostering invention. The policy decisions shaped by this change were diverse, influencing arenas from patents and taxes to pensions and science policy, and encouraged practices that would focus specifically on the economic value of academic science. By the early 1980s, universities were nurturing the rapid growth of areas such as biotech entrepreneurship, patenting, and university-industry research centers.
Contributing to debates about the relationship between universities, government, and industry, Creating the Market University sheds light on how knowledge and politics intersect to structure the economy.
Daniel Sarewitz scrutinizes the fundamental myths that have guided the formulation of science policy for half a century—myths that serve the professional and political interests of the scientific community, but often fail to advance the interests of society as a whole. His analysis ultimately demonstrates that stronger linkages between progress in science and progress in society will require research agendas that emerge not from the intellectual momentum of science, but from the needs and goals of society.
For more than a century, the interplay between private, investor-owned electric utilities and government regulators has shaped the electric power industry in the United States. Provision of an essential service to largely dependent consumers invited government oversight and ever more sophisticated market intervention. The industry has sought to manage, co-opt, and profit from government regulation. In The Power Brokers, Jeremiah Lambert maps this complex interaction from the late nineteenth century to the present day.
Lambert's narrative focuses on seven important industry players: Samuel Insull, the principal industry architect and prime mover; David Lilienthal, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), who waged a desperate battle for market share; Don Hodel, who presided over the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) in its failed attempt to launch a multi-plant nuclear power program; Paul Joskow, the MIT economics professor who foresaw a restructured and competitive electric power industry; Enron's Ken Lay, master of political influence and market-rigging; Amory Lovins, a pioneer proponent of sustainable power; and Jim Rogers, head of Duke Energy, a giant coal-fired utility threatened by decarbonization. Lambert tells how Insull built an empire in a regulatory vacuum, and how the government entered the electricity marketplace by making cheap hydropower available through the TVA. He describes the failed overreach of the BPA, the rise of competitive electricity markets, Enron's market manipulation, Lovins's radical vision of a decentralized industry powered by renewables, and Rogers's remarkable effort to influence cap-and-trade legislation. Lambert shows how the power industry has sought to use regulatory change to preserve or secure market dominance and how rogue players have gamed imperfectly restructured electricity markets. Integrating regulation and competition in this industry has proven a difficult experiment.
To Dr. Ali Khan, the 2014 Ebola scare was simply another example of public paranoia about infectious disease; he has been on the front lines of each one — and many we didn't hear about— over the last 25 years. During the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Zaire, Khan found patient zero; he traveled to Washington, DC, in 2001 as a first responder in the anthrax crisis; and went to southeast Asia to treat patients of SARS. The University of Nebraska Medical Center, where Khan is now Dean of Public Health, is one of four biohazard containment units in the United States; four Ebola patients were treated there in 2014.
In this riveting book, Khan tells the dramatic stories of these crises—as well as the stories we don't know—of congo-crimean hemorrhagic fever infecting abattoirs in the United Arab Emirates, as cigarette-smoking local doctors rushed to the scene, for instance; or of being shot at by militias in the African bush while trying to treat monkeypox.
The book's message is every bit as urgent as his stories: we are focused on the wrong problems. Khan reminds us that the danger of an outbreak—more real than ever in the age of climate change and global travel—is not a matter of which disease is the most deadly or violent. Instead, he urges readers to spread good information and practice essential habits.
Untitled CDC Memoir is a vivid and necessary book about rampant and violent diseases, and disasters narrowly averted— and the tools we need to keep them at bay.
Beyond Bias and Barriers explains that eliminating gender bias in academia requires immediate overarching reform, including decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, federal funding agencies and foundations, government agencies, and Congress. If implemented and coordinated across public, private, and government sectors, the recommended actions will help to improve workplace environments for all employees while strengthening the foundations of America's competitiveness.
Synthetic biology, which aims to design and build organisms that serve human needs, has potential applications that range from producing biofuels to programming human behavior. The emergence of this new form of biotechnology, however, raises a variety of ethical questions—first and foremost, whether synthetic biology is intrinsically troubling in moral terms. Is it an egregious example of scientists “playing God”? Synthetic Biology and Morality takes on this threshold ethical question, as well as others that follow, offering a range of philosophical and political perspectives on the power of synthetic biology.
The contributors consider the basic question of the ethics of making new organisms, with essays that lay out the conceptual terrain and offer opposing views of the intrinsic moral concerns; discuss the possibility that synthetic organisms are inherently valuable; and address whether, and how, moral objections to synthetic biology could be relevant to policy making and political discourse. Variations of these questions have been raised before, in debates over other biotechnologies, but, as this book shows, they take on novel and illuminating form when considered in the context of synthetic biology.
John Basl, Mark A. Bedau, Joachim Boldt, John H. Evans, Bruce Jennings, Gregory E. Kaebnick, Ben Larson, Andrew Lustig, Jon Mandle, Thomas H. Murray, Christopher J. Preston, Ronald Sandler
Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation assesses and provides recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators of STI activities that would enable NCSES to respond to changing policy concerns. This report also identifies and assesses both existing and potential data resources and tools that NCSES could exploit to further develop its indicators program. Finally, the report considers strategic pathways for NCSES to move forward with an improved STI indicators program. The recommendations offered in Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation are intended to serve as the basis for a strategic program of work that will enhance NCSES's ability to produce indicators that capture change in science, technology, and innovation to inform policy and optimally meet the needs of its user community.
After a decade and a half, human pluripotent stem cell research has been normalized. There may be no consensus on the status of the embryo—only a tacit agreement to disagree—but the debate now takes place in a context in which human stem cell research and related technologies already exist. In this book, Charis Thompson investigates the evolution of the controversy over human pluripotent stem cell research in the United States and proposes a new ethical approach for “good science.” Thompson traces political, ethical, and scientific developments that came together in what she characterizes as a “procurial” framing of innovation, based on concern with procurement of pluripotent cells and cell lines, a pro-cures mandate, and a proliferation of bio-curatorial practices.
Thompson describes what she calls the “ethical choreography” that allowed research to go on as the controversy continued. The intense ethical attention led to some important discoveries as scientists attempted to “invent around” ethical roadblocks. Some ethical concerns were highly legible; but others were hard to raise in the dominant procurial framing that allowed government funding for the practice of stem cell research to proceed despite controversy. Thompson broadens the debate to include such related topics as animal and human research subjecthood and altruism. Looking at fifteen years of stem cell debate and discoveries, Thompson argues that good science and good ethics are mutually reinforcing, rather than antithetical, in contemporary biomedicine.
Recognizing the importance of sustainability to its work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to create programs and applications in a variety of areas to better incorporate sustainability into decision-making at the agency. To further strengthen the scientific basis for sustainability as it applies to human health and environmental protection, the EPA asked the National Research Council (NRC) to provide a framework for incorporating sustainability into the EPA's principles and decision-making.
This framework, Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, provides recommendations for a sustainability approach that both incorporates and goes beyond an approach based on assessing and managing the risks posed by pollutants that has largely shaped environmental policy since the 1980s. Although risk-based methods have led to many successes and remain important tools, the report concludes that they are not adequate to address many of the complex problems that put current and future generations at risk, such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. Moreover, sophisticated tools are increasingly available to address cross-cutting, complex, and challenging issues that go beyond risk management.
The report recommends that EPA formally adopt as its sustainability paradigm the widely used "three pillars" approach, which means considering the environmental, social, and economic impacts of an action or decision. Health should be expressly included in the "social" pillar. EPA should also articulate its vision for sustainability and develop a set of sustainability principles that would underlie all agency policies and programs.
These changes will have a potentially enormous impact for the U.S. national security policy, which for the past half century was premised on U.S. economic and technological dominance. As the U.S. monopoly on talent and innovation wanes, arms export regulations and restrictions on visas for foreign S&T workers are becoming less useful as security strategies. The acute level of S&T competition among leading countries in the world today suggests that countries that fail to exploit new technologies or that lose the capability for proprietary use of their own new technologies will find their existing industries uncompetitive or obsolete. The increased access to information has transformed the 1950s' paradigm of "control and isolation" of information for innovation control into the current one of "engagement and partnerships" between innovators for innovation creation. Current and future strategies for S&T development need to be considered in light of these new realities.
This book analyzes the S&T strategies of Japan, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Singapore (JBRICS), six countries that have either undergone or are undergoing remarkable growth in their S&T capabilities for the purpose of identifying unique national features and how they are utilized in the evolving global S&T environment.
The Beijing workshop reflected the continuing engagement by national academies international scientific organizations, and individual scientists and engineers in considering the biosecurity implications of developments in the life sciences and assessing trends in science and technology (S&T) relevant to nonproliferation. The workshop provided an opportunity for the scientific community to discuss the implications of relevant developments in S&T for multiple aspects of the BWC.
Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention follows the structure of the plenary sessions at the workshop. It begins with introductory material about the BWC and current examples of the types and modes of science advice available to the BWC and other international nonproliferation and disarmament agreements, in particular the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This report includes only a very brief description of the some of the post-presentation discussions held during the plenary sessions - and does not include an account of the small breakout groups - since these were intended to inform the committee's finding and conclusions and will be reflected in the final report.
However, the survey data are of insufficient quality and timeliness to support many of the demands put on them. In addition the surveys are increasingly difficult to conduct in times of constrained resources, and their technological, procedural, and conceptual infrastructure has not been modernized for procedure or content.
Data on Federal Research and Development Investments reviews the uses and collection of data on federal funds and federal support for science and technology and recommends future directions for the program based on an assessment of these uses and the adequacy of the surveys. The book also considers the classification structure, or taxonomy, for the fields of science and engineering.
The present volume assesses whether the interests of the United States have been well served by the 1996 Act and, in particular, whether selling off the helium reserve has had any adverse effect on U.S. scientific, technical, biomedical, and national security users of helium.