Science & Technology

126 Items

The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington is shrouded in fog early in the morning Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 on Election Day in the U.S. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

AP Photo/J. David Ake

Magazine Article - Politico Magazine

How A Divided Congress Could Unite Around Tech

| Dec. 06, 2018

Beyond tougher oversight hearings, somber observers expect so little from our newly divided Congress that we all ought to be on the lookout for nonpartisan opportunities.

There is one important area where members could defy partisan gridlock to help Washington better meet a critical challenge of 21st century governance: assessing the public impact of today’s disruptive technologies.

I have firsthand experience with a model that worked. It’s one that could work again for members and their staffs, who understandably struggle to grapple with the sheer complexity of today’s highly disruptive and socially consequential technologies.

View of the crescent moon through the top of the earth's atmosphere. Photographed above 21.5°N, 113.3°E by International Space Station crew Expedition 13 over the South China Sea, just south of Macau (NASA image ID: ISS013-E-54329).

NASA

Discussion Paper

Governance of Highly Decentralized Nonstate Actors: the Case of Solar Geoengineering

| November 2018

We here introduce the idea of highly decentralized solar geoengineering, plausibly done in form of small high-altitude balloons. While solar geoengineering has the potential to greatly reduce climate change, it has generally been conceived as centralized and state deployed. Potential highly decentralized deployment moves the activity from the already contested arena of state action to that of environmentally motivated nongovernmental organizations and individuals, which could disrupt international relations and pose novel challenges for technology and environmental policy. We explore its feasibility, political implications, and governance.

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."

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

2018 State of Digital Transformation

| October 2018

On June 12-13, 2018, digital HKS welcomed public sector digital services teams from around the world to share stories of success, talk about lessons learned, and discuss the challenges they face in transforming government. The teams convened all agreed on North Star goals of building platform services and putting users at the center; what remains much more difficult is identifying how teams in very different political and technology contexts should think about how to reach that end-state. In this report, digital HKS shares best practices we gleaned from this group, to start a broader conversation for digital services groups around the world about what comes next.

Image of China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force drill with a ballistic missile launcher

(China Military / 81.cn)

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Inadvertent Escalation and the Entanglement of Nuclear Command-and-Control Capabilities

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Oct. 29, 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation between the U.S. and China or Russia are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. What can be done to reduce this risk?

Election Cyber Incident Communications Plan Template: International Edition

Adobe Stock

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

Election Cyber Incident Communications Plan Template: International Edition

May 2018

This Template is primarily intended for use by political parties or campaigns as a foundation from which they can develop their own tailored communications response plans, which include best practices, recommended external response processes, and scenarios to anticipate an election cyber incident.

The AI Advantage of Nations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

geralt/Pixabay

Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

The AI Advantage of Nations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

| Apr. 17, 2018

Like revolutions in the past the on-going AI revolution will produce winners and losers. The first industrial revolution in the 18th century changed the world of production and paved the way for Britain’s global leadership. Similarly, the current digital revolution is redefining the service sector and China’s role in the world.

Sir John Sawers with Sec. Ash Carter and Amb. Nicholas Burns

Benn Craig/ Belfer Center

Analysis & Opinions

Conversations in Diplomacy: Sir John Sawers

| Mar. 01, 2018

In this installment of “Conversations in Diplomacy," the Future of Diplomacy Project's Faculty Director Nicholas Burns is joined by Sir John Sawers, the former Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, for a conversation on tackling global security challenges in the digital age and the changing nature of intelligence agencies.

View of General Assembly at UN Global Engagement Summit

UN Photo

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

Exponential Innovation and Human Rights

| Feb. 27, 2018

Technological innovation and the politics of global justice are two fields that interact quite extensively in international diplomatic discourse and public debate. Controversial issues, such as accessing essential medicines, reducing greenhouse gases, conserving biological diversity, providing clean energy, and expanding the adoption of green technologies, require answers at the intersection of technological innovation, international diplomacy, and global justice. Our approach is to start off with the broader understanding that justice is rights-based and then proceed to analyze it using a goal-based framework. This brings into sharp focus the relationships between innovation and human rights.