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Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Why the Arctic - and Russia's Role in It - Matters

| Feb. 23, 2024

The Arctic may seem distant and disconnected from the lives of many people. However, this region plays a crucial role in the functioning of our planet and deserves our attention and care. 

This study group, led by Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow Margaret Williams, is evaluating the costs and benefits of renewing cooperation with Russia on science and conservation issues.

People take photographs near a John Harvard statue, left, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, on the campus of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass.

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Analysis & Opinions - Wall Street Journal

Students Aren’t the Obstacle to Open Debate at Harvard

| Feb. 22, 2024

Professors hear a great deal these days about how hard it is to get our students to listen to, much less to engage with, opinions they dislike. The problem, we are told, is that students are either “snowflakes” with fragile psyches or “authoritarians” who care more about their pet causes than about democratic values such as tolerance, compromise and respect for opposing points of view. Students at Harvard, where I teach, returned from winter break in January to an institution that appeared determined to tackle this problem head-on. An email from the undergraduate dean reminded them that “The purpose of a Harvard education is not to shield you from ideas you dislike or to silence people you disagree with; it is to enable you to confront challenging ideas, interrogate your own beliefs, make up your mind and learn to think for yourself.”


Unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with specialized software and sensors fly during the Technical Concept Experiment at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 19, 2024.

Michael Walls/U.S. Navy

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

Unraveling the Political Dynamics Shaping the U.S. Strategy for Technology Leadership

Although there is broad agreement between the two major parties on the desirability of technology leadership, significant sources of tension—and confusion—persist. By examining the political dynamics that led to the enactment of the CHIPS and Science Act, Constanza M. Vidal Bustamante and Douglass Vijay Calidas probe these tensions and seek to assess their likely impact on the federal technology strategy in the coming years.

footprints in the snow

Adobe Stock/snatalia

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

The Future of Arctic Council Innovation: Charting A Course for Working-Level Cooperation

| Feb. 20, 2024

This report is based on insights from a two-day workshop hosted by the Belfer Center’s Arctic Initiative in collaboration with the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, the Center for Ocean Governance at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, and the Wilson Center's Polar Institute. Participants developed practical recommendations for facilitating working-level cooperation through the Arctic Council and other institutions.

U.S. Marines fire the main gun of their M1A1 Abrams tank in the western desert of the Najaf Province of Iraq during a training exercise on Jan. 24, 2005

Gunnery Sgt. Robert K. Blankenship, U.S. Marine Corps

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

What Americans Owe Ukraine

| Feb. 16, 2024

Imagine that two years ago—before Putin invaded Ukraine—someone had come to the US with a credible proposition to hobble Russia’s military threat to Europe for the decade ahead without the loss of a single American soldier. How much would Americans have been willing to invest in that initiative?