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.”
Venkatesh Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Professor of Technology and Public Policy, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Physics, Emeritus at Harvard. He has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities, and industry. He was formerly the John L. Armstrong Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics and Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. From 2009–2015, he served as the Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. He served as Dean of the UCSB College of Engineering from 1992–1998, as Vice President for Research at Sandia National laboratories ( 1987–1992) and spent much of his scientific research career at AT&T Bell Laboratories ( 1968–1987). He obtained his Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University in 1965, and he has an Honorary Doctorate from Tohuku University (2009). He is the author of more than 240 scientific papers in different areas of condensed matter and applied physics and technology innovation policy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Indian Academy of Science, Indian National Academy of Engineering, IEEE, and AAAS and is an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering , of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and of the World Academy of Sciences. He served as NAE Foreign Secretary from 2011–2015 and is currently on the Board of Directors and the Academic Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2018, he received the Arthur Bueche Award of the NAE "for seminal contributions to condensed matter physics and visionary leadership of multi-disciplinary research in industry, academia, and national labs that generated research and engineering advances."
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