Science & Technology

163 Items

Members of the Faculty Working Group discuss the public purpose implications of emerging technologies.

Benn Craig

Report

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2019-2020

| September 2020

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.  

Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci

AP/Alex Brandon

Paper - Centre for International Governance Innovation

US Intelligence, the Coronavirus and the Age of Globalized Challenges

| Aug. 24, 2020

This essay makes three arguments. First, the US government will need to establish a coronavirus commission, similar to the 9/11 commission, to determine why, since April 2020, the United States has suffered more coronavirus fatalities than any other country in the world. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic represents a watershed for what will be a major national security theme this century: biological threats, both from naturally occurring pathogens and from synthesized biology. Third, intelligence about globalized challenges, such as pandemics, needs to be dramatically reconceptualized, stripping away outmoded levels of secrecy.

A visitor looks at a robotic hand powered by Kinfinity Glove, developed by the German Aerospace Center, on display at the World Robot Conference at the Yichuang International Conference and Exhibition Centre in Beijing, Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Analysis & Opinions - WIRED

Help Us Recognize Tech That Protects Our Values

| Oct. 09, 2019

Technology and all of objective science are caught in a crisis of reputation. From investigations into competition practices to legislative scrutiny over the application and safety of new products, innovators are facing a reckoning for their seeming absence of principles such as privacy, security, inclusion, transparency, and accountability. But it is possible to bend the arc of innovation toward overall public purpose.

The Technology and Public Purpose Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and WIRED are excited to announce the inaugural Tech Spotlight, which will recognize products, initiatives, and policies that embrace principles such as privacy, security, safety, transparency, accountability, and inclusion—and that aim to minimize technological harms.  Nomination will be open until November 30, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.

biohazard bag in laboratory

Wikimedia CC/R.Bektaev

Analysis & Opinions - CNN

What Digital Nerds and Bio Geeks Have to Worry About

| Sep. 13, 2019

The authors explain how the risks of computer systems are transferring to biological systems. The difference is that biological systems have the potential to cause a greater degree of damage than computer systems. Stringent biocontainment helps, but no containment system provides zero risk.

teaser image

Paper

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2018-2019

| September 2019

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.  

petri dishes

AP/Federica Narancio

Journal Article - European Review

Human Heredity Now and in the Future

| February 2019

The distinctive human characteristic of curiosity, once liberated from belief in supernatural causes of natural phenomena, has led with increasing speed to the brink of a world in which humanity will increasingly direct its own genetic endowment, raising the question of what we most value in being human and how to keep faith with it.

Belfer Center Director Ash Carter speaks on technological change for good during a HUBweek 2018 "We the Future" event at Harvard Innovation Lab in October.

Benn Craig/Belfer Center

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Managing Technology's Risks to Society

| Fall/Winter 2018-2019

Making technological change positive for all is the critical challenge of our time. We ourselves—not only the logic of discovery and market forces—must manage it. To create a future where technology serves humanity as a whole, we need a new approach. Therefore, the Belfer Center has launched a new endeavor, the Technology and Public Purpose (TAPP) Project.

Photo of Mark Zuckerberg preparing to resume testimony about user data on Facebook.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Magazine Article - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

America Needs to Align Technology with a Public Purpose

| Nov. 25, 2018

The arc of innovative progress has reached an inflection point, writes Ash Carter in The Atlantic. "Recent technological change that has brought immeasurable improvements to billions around the globe now threatens to overwhelm us. Making this disruption positive for all is the chief challenge of our time. We ourselves—not only market forces—should bend the arc of change toward human good. To do so, we must reinvigorate an ethos of public purpose that has become dangerously decoupled from many of today’s leading tech endeavors."