Articles

508 Items

U.S. President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sign the historic Oslo accord at the White House in September 1993.

Wikicommons/Vince Musi

Magazine Article - Harvard Magazine

The Indispensable Power

| June 16, 2020

When we emerge finally from the grip of the coronavirus, Americans will need to account for a public-health disaster that has killed well over 100,000 people to date and shuttered nearly every institution in our society (including Harvard) for much of the spring and into the summer.

West George Street in Glasgow during coronavirus lockdown.

Wikimedia CC/Daniel Naczk

Magazine Article - Resources Magazine

The State of Global Climate Policy after the Delay of COP26

| May 15, 2020

Former U.S. lead climate negotiator Sue Biniaz shares her thoughts on the postponement of COP26 in this interview by Professor Robert Stavins. Stavins and Biniaz explore ways to reimagine future United Nations climate negotiations, unresolved concerns from COP25, and how the United States might approach rejoining the Paris Agreement.

man helps set up portable fencing

AP/Andrew Harnik

Magazine Article - Resources Magazine

What Economics Can Say about an Effective Response to the Coronavirus

| Apr. 02, 2020

In a recent podcast interview, Robert Stavins and Scott Barrett discussed lessons from historic pandemics, how economists can help with policymaking surrounding the coronavirus, and what the “post-pandemic economic equilibrium” might look like. Resources Magazine has published an abridged version of their conversation.

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Magazine Article

Inside China's controversial mission to reinvent the internet

| Mar. 27, 2020

On a cool day late last September, half a dozen Chinese engineers walked into a conference room in the heart of Geneva's UN district with a radical idea. They had one hour to persuade delegates from more than 40 countries of their vision: an alternative form of the internet, to replace the technological architecture that has underpinned the web for half a century. 

Whereas today's internet is owned by everyone and no one, they were in the process of building something very different - a new infrastructure that could put power back in the hands of nation states, instead of individuals.

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Magazine Article

Jack Ma Offers to Supply the US With Covid-19 Tests and Masks

| Mar. 13, 2020

As the US government promises to ramp up more Covid-19 testing, an unlikely billionaire is offering to lend help: Jack Ma, cofounder of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba. Ma's philanthropic organization, the Jack Ma Foundation, said early Friday morning it would donate 500,000 Covid-19 testing kits and 1 million protective face masks to the US.

Chernobyl welcome sign

Wikimedia CC/Jorge Franganillo

Journal Article - Futures

Accumulating Evidence Using Crowdsourcing and Machine Learning: A Living Bibliography about Existential Risk and Global Catastrophic Risk

    Authors:
  • Gorm E. Shackelford
  • Luke Kemp
  • Catherine Rhodes
  • Lalitha Sundaram
  • Seán S. ÓhÉigeartaigh
  • Simon Beard
  • Haydn Belfield
  • Shahar Avin
  • Dag Sørebø
  • Elliot M. Jones
  • John B. Hume
  • David Price
  • David Pyle
  • Daniel Hurt
  • Theodore Stone
  • Harry Watkins
  • Lydia Collas
  • Bryony C. Cade
  • Thomas Frederick Johnson
  • Zachary Freitas-Groff
  • David Denkenberger
  • Michael Levot
  • William J. Sutherland
| February 2020

The study of existential risk — the risk of human extinction or the collapse of human civilization — has only recently emerged as an integrated field of research, and yet an overwhelming volume of relevant research has already been published. To provide an evidence base for policy and risk analysis, this research should be systematically reviewed. In a systematic review, one of many time-consuming tasks is to read the titles and abstracts of research publications, to see if they meet the inclusion criteria. The authors show how this task can be shared between multiple people (using crowdsourcing) and partially automated (using machine learning), as methods of handling an overwhelming volume of research.

WWI chemical weapon firing pipes

Wikimedia CC/Rosser1954

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Gas, Norms, and Statistics: The Jury is Still Out

| 2019

Damir Kovačević, Afrimadona, and Martin Claar's (KAC) statistical adjudication between the potential role of norms versus strategic deterrence in preventing interstate chemical-weapons use is a welcome contribution (Vol. 26, Nos. 3–4, pp. 251–66). The authors conclude that a powerful non-use norm is the most convincing explanation for downtrending chemical warfare. However, closer examination by  David M. Allison and Stephen Herzog in this response to the original article reveals several analytical issues, including inaccurate presentation of data and alternative explanations, that may undermine their results.