The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Pete Worden is the Executive Director of Breakthrough Starshot. Prior to joining the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Dr. Worden was Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. He was research professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona. He is a recognized expert on space and science issues and has been a leader in building partnerships between governments and the private sector internationally. Dr. Worden has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers in astrophysics and space sciences. He served as a scientific co-investigator for three NASA space science missions – most recently the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph launched in 2013 to study the Sun. He received the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for the 1994 Clementine Mission to the moon. Dr. Worden was named the 2009 Federal Laboratory Consortium ‘Laboratory Director of the Year’ and is the recipient of the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Innovator’s Award.
Oliver Morton is The Economist's briefings editor. Before coming to The Economist as energy and environment editor in 2009, he was the chief news and features editor of Nature, the international scientific journal. He specializes in the energy business, climate science and policy, and other green issues.
Matthew Weinzierl is the Joseph and Jacqueline Elbling Professor of Business Administration in the Business, Government, and the International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on the optimal design of economic policy, in particular taxation, with an emphasis on better understanding the philosophical principles underlying policy choices. Recently, he has launched a set of research projects focused on the commercialization of the space sector and its economic implications, viewable at www.economicsofspace.com. He has served on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Tax Expenditure Commission, the board of the National Tax Association, and on the editorial boards of Social Choice and Welfare and National Tax Journal. Prior to completing his PhD in economics at Harvard University in 2008, Professor Weinzierl served as the Staff Economist for Macroeconomics on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and worked in the New York office of McKinsey & Company.
Wake Smith is a Lecturer in Yale College, where he teaches what is understood to be the world’s first undergraduate survey course on climate engineering. The core of that course will be published in book form in March 2022 by the Cambridge University Press under the title Pandora’s Toolbox: The Hopes and Hazards of Climate Intervention. As a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, he has published papers on the aeronautics, costs, and deployment logistics of stratospheric aerosol injection as well as on the proper governance of research into these technologies. He finished his business career in private equity with New York based New State Capital. He previously served as: Chairman and President of Pemco World Air Services; Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings; and President of the flight training division of Boeing. He holds a BA in History from Yale and an MBA from Harvard.