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.”
Bina Venkataraman is an American journalist, author, and science policy expert. She is currently Editor-at-Large for The Boston Globe, and from 2019 to 2022, served as the news organization’s Editorial Page Editor, overseeing its opinion coverage and editorial board during two presidential impeachment trials, the 2020 election, the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd, the Capitol insurrection, and Boston’s historic 2021 mayoral election. During her tenure, The Globe had two Pulitzer finalists for editorial writing. She is also the author of The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age, named a top business book by The Financial Times and a best book of 2019 by National Public Radio.
Bina formerly served as Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation in the Obama White House, where she forged cross-sector partnerships to prepare for climate disasters and worked to declassify critical data for global development. During the first term of the Obama administration, she advised the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on policy matters related to pandemic preparedness, technology, energy innovation, and K-12 science education. Before that, she was a journalist on the science desks of The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Since 2011, Bina has taught in MIT’s program on science, technology, and society, and in the fall of 2022, she will teach opinion writing at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Bina is a frequent public speaker whose appearances have included the TED mainstage, Aspen Ideas, CNN, MSNBC, and university campuses around the world. She delivered the 2021 Commencement address at the University of Southern California, and received an honorary doctorate from USC in 2022. She is the recipient of the New America national fellowship, the Princeton in Asia fellowship, and the James Reston fellowship at The New York Times. In 2015, the French-American Foundation named her a Global Young Leader. She is an alumna of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School.