Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs was founded in 1973 by Paul Doty as the Program for Science and International Affairs (PSIA) within Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Its original goal was to revive serious analysis of nuclear dangers and arms control.
In 1976, the Program launched the International Security Program and the journal International Security, and also established the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. In 1978, a major grant from the Ford Foundation made possible the establishment of the Center for Science and International Affairs (CSIA) as the first permanent research center at the newly emerging John F. Kennedy School of Government.
The Center expanded in 1990 to incorporate the Environment and Natural Resources Program, the predecessor of which began at the Kennedy School in 1980 as the Energy and Environmental Policy Center.
The Center took another major step in its development in 1997 when it was re-endowed, refurbished, and renamed the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.